Rugby India’s Get Into Rugby Program ranked No 1 globally 2019

This Article about Rugby India’s Get Into Rugby Program has been kindly provided by Rugby India

As per the World Rugby’s Get Into Rugby (GIR) Statistic report 2019, India now ranks at the top of the rankings globally, reaching out to 214,053 new rugby participants through World Rugby’s outreach program i.e. Get into Rugby.

India claimed the number one position by edging out Japan, hosts of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and South Africa, winners of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Rugby India , Trophy tour
The Webb Ellis Cup is greeted by thousands of students at Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences in Bhubaneswar as part of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour (Photo by Nigel Roddis – World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

The Indian Rugby Football Union (IRFU), aka Rugby India, introduced the ‘Get into Rugby’ (GIR) program in India in 2013. GIR, a World Rugby initiative, is aimed at promoting and growing the sport globally.

Besides introducing Rugby to new participants in a fun, friendly and safe environment, the sport is also focusing on inculcating the strong values of Integrity, Respect, Solidarity, Passion and Discipline, which inspires millions of kids to choose and play the game globally.

Societe Generale, one of the largest European financial services groups partnered with Rugby India since 2016 to train, develop and groom national level players.

In addition to supporting the high-performance level, the financial services group is also assertively supporting the ‘Get Into Rugby’ program, an initiative aimed to harness the potential sports talent from the grassroots in the country, especially at locations where resources are limited.

Asia Rugby U20 Sevens Series

Through this initiative, Societe Generale is committed to make Rugby accessible to everyone and build a strong national team to compete at the global level.

As per the World Rugby Get Into Rugby (GIR) Statistic 2019, India has seen tremendous growth in the number of players playing Rugby from 2016 to 2020.

The total numbers of Male Players have grown from 61,194 in 2016 to 112,712 in 2019.  That represents an 85% increase over 3 years.

The total numbers of Female Players have grown from 42,032 in 2016 to 101,341 in 2019. This represents a 141 % increase over the last 3 years.

Mr. Mahesh Mathai, President, Rugby India said, “The GIR initiative has given Rugby the much-needed boost in India. The increasing numbers and growing interest in the sport is testament to the work undertaken by Rugby India.

When it comes to growing rugby nationally, resources and fund allocation remains to be a deterrent. Thanks to the support received from Asia Rugby , World Rugby and Societe Generale, not only can we increase the participation from the youth but also provide our age-grade rugby teams an opportunity to compete in international tournaments.

We are extremely positive and ambitious about seeing huge growth of Rugby in India in the coming years.”

Mr. Nasser Hussain, CEO, Rugby India said, “The response to the GIR program has been overwhelming, especially with respect to age-grade participation from across the country.

The growing numbers, particularly in the Women’s game, have ensured we establish a structured pathway for these young players to continue to be involved in the game.

Over the years, we have seen some quality talent emerge from the GIR program – we are proud to mention that some of them have now advanced onto representing the country at the International level. We are thankful to Societe Generale for their unconditional support and commitment towards the grassroots development as well as the high-performance level”.


Asia Women’s RugbyMr. Antoine Castel, Chief Executive and Chief Country Officer, India said, “Societe Generale has been a key sponsor of Rugby globally and is supporting Rugby India to transform the way the sport is perceived in the country. Shared values of team spirit and commitment are what drive Societe Generale’s initiatives to support the development and accessibility of rugby.

This is a very special achievement for Societe Generale, which is the first and only organization to promote Rugby at the grassroots level in India and offer life-changing opportunities for youngsters across rural and semi-urban societies. We hope Rugby develops as a Sport for change for these new participants, that will lead to positive transformations.”

The GIR initiative is in line with the inclusion of the sport in the National School Games. Rugby is a permanent discipline in the School Games Federation of India (SGFI) since 2015 and has been part of the National School Games for U19, U17 & U14 Boys and Girls since then.

The GIR initiative represents a major breakthrough for India Rugby. Through the 3 stages of Get Into Rugby program implemented across India, schools have been able to gradually progress to 7-a-side rugby in the last few years.

The players who represented their schools in the first two phases (TRY and PLAY phases of the GIR program) can then move to the third phase and get selected to play for their district and their state (STAY phase of the program).