Asian5 Nations Rugby tourney from Wednesday

Updated: Jun 01, 2010, 20:09 PM IST

New Delhi: High on confidence after the
successful organisation of the Commonwealth Games test event,
Rugby India for the first time will host the Asian5 Nations
tournament to be held on June 2 and 5 at the newly constructed
venue at Delhi University campus here.

Hosts India will open their campaign against a formidable
China while the other two participants in the event are
Thailand and the Philippines.

It will be the first time that spectators will enjoy the
action under lights, which is expected to give the game a much
needed makeover as most of the matches worldwide played under

The winner of this Division-II 15-a-side championship
will be promoted to Division-I while the last-placed team will
be relegated to the third division.

If India beat China and then win the final match against
either Philippines or Thailand, they will progress to the
Division-I for the first time.

"The championship was launched in 2008 and since then has
witnessed a lot of positive changes which are good for the
game. Hosting events like this will certainly add to the
growing popularity of Rugby in India. We are proud to be the
hosting country," said India captain Nasser Hussain at a press

"We are upbeat about our first match against India.
Expectations are riding high on us and we will present a good
challenge to the Indian side tomorrow," said Chinese captain
Ma Bing.

The 24-member Indian squad includes some young guns in
the side who will make their debut tomorrow. One of the name
doing the rounds is 16-year-old Jagga Singh, youngest member
of the team.

"Preparation for the tournament is excellent and as good
as we have expected. We have couple of young players in the
side which is good for us. They have raw talent and need to
prove themselves on the ground," said Greg Davey, Rugby India
Development Manager.

Rugby India has been undergoing a period of feverish
preparation that has seen the team spending extended periods
of training in New Zealand.

"The New Zealand tour was great and it was planned in
accordance with this tournament. Let`s hope boys deliver the
requisite results," added Davey.