The final whistle blows at the 84th All India & South Asia Rugby Tournament at CC&FC

  • Published 24.10.17

Delhi Hurricanes did the double at the 84th All India & South Asia Rugby Tournament in association with The Telegraph. The week-long rugby tourney kicked off on October 7 and touched down with the Men’s final on October 14, while the Women’s final took place a day earlier. “It was tough. The Army Fifteen put up a tough fight. We’ve lost quite a few times to them but this year we did not repeat our mistakes,” said Vikas Khatri, captain of the Men’s team. “I’ve been playing rugby for the last seven years and it feels great that we won both the men’s and women’s category this year. We will go back to our villages near Maidan Garhi to celebrate and motivate the players to take up rugby,” smiled Namita Bhoj (above right, holding the trophy), captain of the Women’s team. 

Army Fifteen might have lost out on the crown but their spirits reigned high!
“It is an absolute honour to host a tournament like this… CC&FC has been a patron of rugby for a hundred years… and the tournament today could not have had a better finish. Thank you to everyone for such a great game of rugby,” signed off Arun Lal, president, CC&FC.


Chintu Vij, former rugby captain of CC&FC, watched the Men’s finals. “It was in 2002 that  I was sitting right here in CC&FC and having a beer with my friends that someone came and asked me to try for the rugby team. I turned up at the trials and within half an hour, I had a blackout. It was then that I decided that the sport is really challenging and that I have to take it up. I always had a hand-eye coordination problem so in rugby I found my calling,” he said.
“A lot of our players got injured in the match against Delhi, and Jungle Crows was just faster and well coordinated, which is why they did well,” said the former Indian rugby captain Vahbiz Bharucha (right), who played for RAM, here with Indian teammate Chandra Oraon, captain of the winning Jungle Crows. 
“I was a sprinter back in school (Modern High School for Girls) and it is because of my love for running that I play as a winger for CC&FC. I have fond memories of playing in the rain and being caked in mud by the end of the match,” shared Sanaya Mehta Vyas with daughter Samara. 
“I grew up watching my father play rugby and I started playing three years ago. It was never Barbies or tiaras for me, it was rugby balls instead,” said Rachael Jones, who played fly half for CC&FC.
“I was selected to be a part of the Maharashtra Pro Kabaddi team in 2015 but there was a 15-day Asian Rugby Camp happening at the same time. I love rugby since it involves a bit of wrestling, weightlifting, kabaddi and athleticism,” said Nilam Patil of Rugby Association of Maharashtra.

Text: Sulogna Ghosh & Sehrish Hazarika
Pictures: Arnab Mondal