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Indian girls U18 rugby captain Sumitra confident of returning with a medal

Mumbai, July 4: The Societe Generale-Indian Girls’ Under-18 rugby team, will compete in the Rugby Sevens U-18 girls event at the Paris World Games 2017, to be held in the French capital, commencing on July 7 to 9, 2017, this was announced at a media conference on Tuesday.

The 12-member Indian team, which comprises of six players from Odisha, four from West Bengal and one each from Delhi and Maharashtra, will be captained by Sumitra Nayak from odisha.

Sumitra Nayak said the team will try their best to return with a medal, maybe even the gold from the tournament. “We have trained hard for the past one month here, in Mumbai under Hussain Sir. We have practised a lot and worked on improving our skills for the tournament and we will give our best to bring laurels for the country,” said Nayak, who initially trained at the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences in Bhubaneshwar.

The Indian team accompanied by coach Nasser Hussain will depart for Paris onJuly 6.

This is the second time that an India Girls’ Under-18 team will be participating in an international rugby tournament. Last year the Indian U-18 girls team had bagged a bronze at the inaugural Asian U-18 Rugby Sevens held in UAE.

Hussain pointed out that the team was picked after a selection process. “We had a selection camp where 25 girls took part out of which 12 girls were selected,” said Hussain.

Hussain said five girls – Sumitra, Rajni Sabar, Basanti Pangi, Lija Sardar (all Odisha) and Gargee Walekar (Maharashtra) – were part of the squad in the Asian tournament held in UAE. This time the team will be strengthened by inclusion of four girls from West Bengal, who will be making their international debut.

“So far, seven teams have confirmed their participation for the rugby event,” said the coach, adding it was a fairly young side.

Hussain said that team members will be meeting members of both the French women’s national rugby team and under-18 team during their visit.

Apart from rugby, the World Games – conducted with an eye on France winning the bid to host the 2024 Olympics – will see competitions in volleyball, football, badminton, basketball and handball.

The Games will see participation of around 15,000 athletes from over 60 countries.

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