India national rugby union team

The India national rugby union team is currently Division 3 champion of Asian 5 Nations.

Indian Rugby Logo.jpg
UnionIndian Rugby-Football Union
Ground(s)Kalinga Stadium (Capacity: 50,000)
Coach(es)Naas Botha
Captain(s)Vikas Khatri
Team kit
First international
 Singapore 85–0 India 
(26 October 1998)
Largest win
 India 92–0 Pakistan 
(14 June 2008)
Largest defeat
 Singapore 85–0 India 
(26 October 1998)
World Cup

The Indian national rugby union team was admitted to the IRB in 2001, but it took three years before India won a match, beating Pakistan 56-3 in the third tier competition of the Asian Biennial tournament.

In 2005, they started their attempt to qualify for the 2007 Rugby World Cup, but a 22-36 loss to Kazakhstan sent them out of the running for that tournament. They also disappointed with an 8-8 tie in Guam, but still finished second in their group of four teams thanks to beating Malaysia 48-12. However, as only the top team in the group qualified for the next stage, India were out. Their current record in IRB-recognised internationals is ten wins, one tie, and twenty four losses.

The national side is ranked 86th in the world (as of 29 July 2019).


Rugby Union in India dates back to a scratch match or two played in Kolkata and Madras during the visit of MS Galatea in 1871. The first recorded match was played on Christmas Day 1872, at CFC in Kolkata, it was played between England and a combined team of Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

The national team was not started till 1998 however when the India national team played Singapore in Singapore, they lost 85-0. The team were then admitted into the International Rugby Board in 2001 and then in 2003 the team undertook its first UK tour. This consisted of playing three sides from the Midlands which all resulted in large defeats, including a staggering 153-0 defeat from a Leicester Tigers XV at Welford Road. They also failed to score a single try during their visit. Despite the sheer lack of success, the head did have some positive words, stating: "It's all a learning process for us. The difference in size and body weight between the two teams was huge, but when we get back to Asia we'll be playing against teams roughly our own size." In 2007 India attempted to qualify for the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, Scotland, and Wales. They were placed in Asian Division 3, Pool B for the qualifiers in which India finished second of four teams with 1 win, 1 tie, and 1 loss. As only the first place team moved on to the second qualification round India was officially knocked out of the 2007 World Cup.

In 2008 the India Rugby Union Team attempted to qualify for the Rugby World Cup again. This time though qualification was different as instead of the group stage India had to play in the 2008 Asian Five Nations and win it in order to move on to Round 2 in qualification. India though lost their first match against Thailand and had to settle for 3rd place after a 2nd[clarification needed] place match win against Pakistan in which India achieved their biggest ever victory as they beat Pakistan 92–0.


Rugby players from Odisha

India does not have its own personal stadium to use. When they play they usually do on local university fields throughout India.


India have worn dark blue and black for all of their Rugby Union games since 2011 and prior to that, from 1998–2010, they used the traditional Indian sports colours of light blue and white. At present, the shirt and socks are dark blue and the shorts are black.


Asia Rugby ChampionshipEdit

India competes annually in the Asia Rugby Championship, which is a rugby union competition held amongst national rugby sides within the Asia Rugby region. India participated in the inaugural 2008 Asian Five Nations (as it was then known) competing in the Second Division, finishing in third place, and missing out on being promoted. During the 2009 Asian Five Nations India again finished in 3rd place in the Second Division but then during the 2010 Asian Five Nations India just lost out on promotion to Division 1 when they were beaten 34-12 by the Philippines in the final game. They then suffered a setback in 2011 Asian Five Nations as they were relegated to Division 3 after losing both their matches in Second Division tournament. In 2012 India were successful in winning the Third Division tournament earning a promotion back to Division 2 the following year. In 2013 they finished fourth in the Second Division tournament, relegating them back to the third division. In 2014 the Division 3 tournament was split into an East and West competition, with four teams in each. India finished in fourth place in the Division 3 West tournament. In 2015 the Division 3 tournament was split into three brackets, East, West and Central, with three teams in each. India competed in the Central tournament, however due to the withdrawal of Pakistan the remaining teams India and Uzbekistan played two matches against each other. As both team scored respective victories India was declared the winner on points difference. In 2016 the Division 3 tournament was split into four competitions, East, Central, West and West-Central. India plays in the South-Central bracket where it is scheduled to compete against Pakistan.

Year Host Champion India Record (W-L) India Finish
2008   Thailand   Thailand 1-1 3rd Place in Division 2
2009   Malaysia   Malaysia 1-1 3rd Place in Division 2
2010   India   Philippines 1-1 2nd Place in Division 2
2011   Thailand   Chinese Taipei 0-2 4th Place in Division 2
2012   Indonesia   India 2-0 1st Place in Division 3
2013   Malaysia   Singapore 0-2 4th Place in Division 2
2014   Pakistan   Lebanon 1-1 3rd Place in Division 3 - West
2015   Uzbekistan   India 1-1 1st Place in Division 3 Central
2016   India - - -

World CupEdit

India has never played in the Rugby World Cup but they have attempted twice in 2005 and 2008 to qualify for the 2007 Rugby World Cup and 2011 Rugby World Cups respectively.

Year Host Champion India Finish Results
1987 to 2003 Various Various India did not participate
2007 (Asian Qualification) Various   Kazakhstan Second in division 3 Pool B Round 1a India did not qualify
2011 (Asian Qualification)   Thailand   Thailand Third in first round India did not qualify
2015 (Asian Qualification)   Thailand Second in division 2 and 3 India did not qualify

Overall recordsEdit

Their Test match record against all nations, updated to 8 June 2013, is as follows:[1]

Opponent Played Won Lost Drawn Win percentage
 Arabian Gulf* 1 0 1 0 0%
  China 3 1 2 0 33.3%
  Chinese Taipei 1 0 1 0 0%
  Guam 3 2 0 1 83.3%
  Iran 3 1 2 0 33.3%
  Kazakhstan 3 0 3 0 0%
  Malaysia 4 1 3 0 25%
  Pakistan 5 5 0 0 100%
  Philippines 2 1 1 0 50%
  Singapore 3 0 3 0 0%
  Sri Lanka 2 0 2 0 0%
  Thailand 7 0 7 0 0%
Total 37 11 25 1 31.08%


Squad to 2019 Asia Rugby Championship [2]

Player Position Club
Suraj Prasad Hooker Bengal R.F.U.
Monu Yadav Hooker Delhi Hurricanes RFC
Parvender Singh Prop Indian Army
Mukesh Mankotia Prop Delhi Hurricanes RFC
Surender Joon Prop Haryana Rugby
Shokender Balyan Prop Indian Army
Hitesh Dagar Lock Delhi Hurricanes RFC
Sivasankar Bahuleyan Remadevi Lock Indian Army
Suresh Kumar Lock Indian Army
Anil Kumar Flanker Haryana Rugby
Vikas Khatri (c) Flanker Haryana Rugby
Jitendra Kumar Flanker Indian Army
Nitin Dagar Number 8 Delhi Rebels
Sujai Lama Scrum-half Indian Army
Sukumar Hembrom Scrum-half Bengal R.F.U.
Deepak Punia Fly-half Haryana Rugby
Akash Balmiki Fly-half Bengal R.F.U.
Mohit Khatri Centre Haryana Rugby
Prince Khatri Centre Haryana Rugby
Ajay Balmiki Centre Bengal R.F.U.
Pappu Todkar Wing Rugby Maharashtra
Ajay Deswal Wing Haryana Rugby
Sourabh Dubal Fullback Delhi Hurricanes RFC


Name Tenure Tests Won Drew Lost Win percentage
Norman Laker 1 January 2011 – present 2 0 0 2 0%


External linksEdit