The 12-member squad, led by Odisha’s Sumitra Nayak, will be playing their second international tournament.
Mumbai: Tribal girls from West Bengal and Orissa will be on a maiden trip to Europe to represent India in the Rugby Sevens U-18 girls event at the Paris World Games this weekend. The 12-member squad, led by Odisha’s Sumitra Nayak, will be playing their second international tournament. They grabbed a bronze in the inaugural Asian U-18 Girls Rugby Sevens Championship in the UAE last year.
Five girls from tribal belts of West Bengal, like Saraswatipur, will be on a foreign trip for the first time after they failed to travel to the UAE last year as their passports were not ready.
“Many girls are from far off tribal areas. It takes time to get their passports prepared. We spent many months on it and thankfully we got their passports in time,” former India rugby skipper Nasser Hussain, who is now general manager of Rugby India, said.
“The tournament will be a stepping stone to U-17 Qualifiers for Youth Olympics to be held in Dubai. Most of these girls in the 12-member squad are eligible to play in the Youth Olympics qualifiers. They will get exposure in Paris where they will interact with French U-18 team and senior team before the competition and will also have some sightseeing,” Hussain said.