Rugby India, founded in 1998, is the sole governing body for the sport of Rugby in India. Recognized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sport, Govt. of India, Rugby India is a full member of World Rugby, Asia Rugby and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). The body is responsible for the growth & development of the sport of Rugby across the country from the grassroots to the high performance level.
IRFU is the sole governing body of all formats of the sport of Rugby in India for all genders and ages. The formats included are as follows: Rugby Union, Fifteen-a-Side Rugby, Seven-a-Side Rugby, 10-a-Side Rugby, 12-a-Side Rugby, Touch Rugby, Non-Contact Rugby - Tag Rugby, Flag Rugby, Beach Rugby, Snow Rugby, Wheelchair Rugby, Underwater Rugby.
Rugby has been included in the School Games Federation of India (SGFI) for all age-groups (U14, U17 & U19 boys & girls) and the National University Games for both Men & Women, under the aegis of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), The sport is also a part of the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) and played by the Paramilitary & Police Forces.
For ease of functioning and development, geographically, the IRFU is divided into 5 Zones – North, South, East, West and Central – with each Zone responsible for promoting and popularizing the sport within their region.
The earliest trace of Rugby Football in India dates back to a scratch match or two played in Calcutta and Madras during the visit of H.M.S. Galatea in 1871. The teak goal posts used on the occasion of the Calcutta Match were afterwards used by the C.F.C. up to at least 1886.
The first recorded match was played on Christmas day 1872, at CFC in Calcutta, it was played between England and a combined team of Scotland, Ireland and Wales. The game caught on and had to be repeated within the week.
The game was now established. In January 1873, officers were appointed and the Club Rolls gave a total of 137 members. The Club colours were chosen as red and white, broad stripes.
In 1877 saw the downslide of the game and it almost died out, leaving behind a full coffer. The wise G.A.J. Rothney, who had been acting as Captain, Hon. Secretary and Treasurer of the Club at that time, proposed that the funds should be devoted to the purchase of a cup of Indian workmanship to be offered to the Rugby Football Union- the parent body of the game worldwide. The withdrawal of these monies was done in the form of silver coins which were then melted to craft the exquisite Calcutta Cup.