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Indian ruggers ready for Games action

other Updated: Oct 10, 2010 20:31 IST

PTI
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Grouped with Wales, South Africa and Tonga in the Commonwealth Games rugby sevens event, the Indian ruggers have little chance to go beyond the preliminary league stage but nonetheless would look to give their more fancied rivals a run for their money in front of home crowd.

The two-day competition starting tomorrow at the Delhi University ground will see some of the world's most formidable teams in action and it would be a tough task for the Indians, ranked 73rd out of 95 rugby playing nations, to cause an upset.

From the group stage, only one team will make it to the semifinals and South Africa and Wales are among top rugby playing nations in the Commonwealth.

The Indian team, though, are high on confidence after their recent title triumphs in Istanbul (Istanbul 7s) and England (Bee's International 7s) -- against some of the best club sides in Europe, Middle East and Asia -- and the tour to New Zealand in the build-up to the Games.

Skipper Nasser Hussain sought to see the positive side and said they would not be overawed by their fancied opponents. He is rather upbeat that his side has got the chance to measure their strength against the best in the world.

"The top 10 rugby teams of the world are from Commonwealth countries. So the field is really going to be strong. But we are ready for the challenges and looking for some great rugby action in front of the home crowd," Hussain said.

"Commonwealth Games will bring the best out of all of us. Teams like New Zealand, South Africa, England and others have superior understanding of the game and that shows in their rankings. New Zealand would look for their fourth Commonwealth Games gold medal on the trot.

"We all know as a team that there is still a long way to go for us. But we are looking forward to test ourselves against the best in the world. Who knows we can have an upset or two," said Hussain.

"Recent title triumphs in Istanbul and England have boosted our confidence and we know we are improving as individuals and as a unit. We are still learning and the Games will give a big platform for us to learn more. That is important. But of course, winning the last two tournaments has given us the extra confidence.

"Wales and South Africa are formidable sides and it would be quite a herculean task to beat them. But we expect to beat Tonga," said Hussain.