CHENNAI: With lockdown relaxations kicking in and allowing sportspersons to train, the nation’s rugby players too have started practising. Despite not being able to hit the ground since March, they have made use of technology to keep in touch with the game.“There are lot of courses and seminars being conducted by Rugby India,” said Tamil Nadu Football Rugby Union (TNFRU) secretary general Senthil Thyagarajan.
“Several senior players from Tamil Nadu have been undergoing certificate courses for coaching and match-officiating. Other programmes too kept the players in touch with the game.’’
“Indian Rugby has articulated Phase 1 training for now. That involves individual, strength and game-skill training. So far, Tamil Nadu players have limited themselves to gym work and strength training.” Phase 1 involves training sans physical contact.Despite things opening up slowly, the Indian rugby fraternity too is keeping a close eye on when the sport will make its competitive return.
“We are seeing closed-door practice being held in France. Probably after September, we could see the European season commence. In India too it is likely to start around the same time.’’Police and Services team and those from various embassies in the country used to play each other on a regular basis. Now clubs too take part in events and practice regularly. “Lot of players from clubs in the city practised regularly before lockdown at several beach pockets, including Kottivakkam, Thiruvanmyur and Besant Nagar. Tamil Nadu’s state team and Police side generally practice at Patrician College. Facilities for training and practice are there in the city and equal to those anywhere in the country.”
Several players from Tamil Nadu have made a mark at the international level. “A Venkatesan and S Saran Raj are the two men’s international players from the state who have done well in the recent past. V Anitha, an athlete from MOP Vasihnav College, took part in last year’s Asian Sevens in Odisha. Once the situation improves, we have lined up events for players.”