India tops rankings of Get Into Rugby initiative

The number of male rugby players in India have grown from 61,194 in 2016 to 112,712 in 2019 while the female players went up from 42,032 to 101,341.

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India topped the global rankings in the ‘Get Into Rugby’ project initiative by World Rugby after a reported 2,14,053 participants took up the sport in India through GIR outreach program. India was ranked ahead of Japan (Rugby World Cup 2019 host nation) and South Africa (current world champion) which had 1,90,115 and 1,77,034 participants respectively.

As per the statistical report published by World Rugby, the number of male players in India have grown from 61,194 in 2016 to 112,712 in 2019 while the female players went up from 42,032 in 2016 to 101,341 in 2019. The IRFU introduced the GIR program in 2013, is aimed at  introducing the sport to new participants in a fun, friendly and safe environment. WR is also focusing on inculcating the values of integrity, respect, solidarity, passion and discipline in the new rugby enthusiasts.

The Indian Rugby Football Union (IRFU) initiative is supported in India by Societe Generale, a major financial services group, since 2016 to train, develop and groom national level players. This partnership is also assertively supporting the GIR program, to harness the potential rugby talent, especially at locations where resources are limited. As per World Rugby national rankings, 105 male teams and 96 female national federations are listed.

The GIR initiative is in line with rugby’s entry in the National School Games since 2015 and has been part of NSG in different age categories (U-14, U-17 and U-19 boys and girls). Implemented across the country, schools have been able to gradually progress to seven-a-side rugby (Rugby Sevens). The players who represented their schools in the first two phases (TRY and PLAY) then get selected to play for their district and state squads, as per a IRFU release.

Get Into Rugby first five nations: 1. India, 2. Japan, 3. South Africa, 4. United Arab Emirates (1,48,657), 5. Russia (99,325).

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