Indian ruggers confident after NZ, Fiji tours: Davey

Updated: Jun 06, 2010, 14:24 PM IST

New Delhi: Rugby India`s Development Manager
Greg Davey feels the recent training-cum-competition trips to
New Zealand and Fiji have helped iron out flaws in the team`s
preparation for this year`s Commonwealth Games.

"New Zealand and Fiji tours have given boys the
confidence required at the international level. They trust
themselves more, they believe in their strengths. They have
learned to take decisions quickly on the field and have
rectified their mistakes," Davey told reporters.

"They were exposed to some great teams during the tour.
Now I would like to see the boys applying these skills in
tournaments like Shanghai Sevens, Buenos Aires Sevens and the
big Delhi Commonwealth Games," he added.

During their three-week trip, the 23-member Indian
contingent met former champions and legends of the game,
visited state-of-the-art gymnasiums, world class pitches and
fitness professionals and competed in a few practice matches.

"The trip was very important keeping the Commonwealth
Games in mind. Boys need to step up their performance and
produce good results in front of home crowd. What matters is
attitude and aggression. They have the killer instinct in them
and need to show that on the field against opponents," said

On the Indians` performance in the just-concluded Asian5
Nations Rugby tournament where they finished runners-up after
losing to lowly ranked Philippines 12-34 in the summit clash,
Davey said it was disheartening to see the team lose after
coming so close to the title triumph.

"We had prepared hard for the tournament and that showed
in our performance. But we faltered at the last hurdle. Anyway
the tournament has given us many positives and we hope to
continue our good form" he said.

The New Zealander said inclusion of youngsters in the
team was a positive step taken by the national federation and
"it will pay rich dividends in the future."

"It`s a good step taken in right direction. It`s good for
the overall development of the team. But the young guns need
to prove their talent to retain their place in the side," he

In Davey`s native New Zealand, rugby is the most popular
sport and he foresees the sport to become as popular in
cricket-mad India as well.

"I think in two-three years, we can have 50,000 players,
a good scenario for India. There is a need to build the strong
foundation at the school and college level. I believe Rugby
has what it takes to appeal to sport loving Indians," he said.

Davey is aiming to put in place a proper coaching and
administrative infrastructure to ensure all-round growth of
the sport.