Rugby is seen to be one of the most intense physical sports in the world and is famously played in countries like Australia, England and Argentina. The exposure that Rugby has when India is considered is very minimal when compared to sports like Cricket, Badminton and Football. But Rugby has the potential to become a predominant sport in the country. The Indian National Rugby Team are the current champions in division 3 of Asian 5 nations. We caught up with Roshan Lobo from Bengaluru who is now part of the Indian Rugby team in a candid chat. A commerce graduate of St. Joseph’s College of Commerce, Bengaluru whose first sports experience was holding the Rugby ball, Roshan Lobo started playing the sport way back in 2007.
It has been a decade since Roshan fell in love with Rugby and it has only grown ever since. Are you curious to know more about Roshan’s journey in Rugby so far? Let’s get to know!
1) What inspired you to take up Rugby and not any other sport?
I was just bored with college and working after I completed my course. With some luck, I just found out about Rugby through a person who coached Rugby in Bangalore. Through Rugby, I got a chance to travel to a lot of other cities I haven’t been to and meet people who gave me a better exposure to the sport.
2) What are the Challenges you faced with while learning Rugby?
When I first started playing Rugby I was a lean and thin guy, not Rugby playing kind of body. I suffered few injuries and fractures when I started playing the game initially and I had to undergo many surgeries. Now I feel it’s a different ball game as I have improved myself physically to play the sport.
3) Do you play any other sports? Which is your favourite sport apart from Rugby?
I started playing Ultimate Frisbee as a fitness sport but now it’s one of my other favourite sport which I want to keep playing. Ultimate is currently the fastest growing sport in India with over 40 teams spread throughout the country.
4) How is the Indian Rugby team doing? Do they get good support?
As Rugby is a part of the Olympic games from the previous Olympics, Indian Government has recognised Rugby as a potential sport and wants to promote in all the colleges and schools. Bollywood actor Rahul Bose is an active promoter of Rugby as he had already played for the Indian Rugby Team. Indian Rugby Team currently ranks 56th in the world ranking. They take part in the Asian Rugby Championships every year.
5) What is the response to Rugby in India when compared to famous rugby playing nations like New Zealand and Australia?
There’s a big culture difference when you compare India to New Zealand and Australia. In a country like New Zealand, Rugby is way famous and the sport is inbuilt in their culture like how cricket is in India.
People are getting to know about it slowly and most of them know it through movies or through Rahul Bose but it’s slowly developing and more ppl are getting to hear about Rugby in the country.
6) Do you think we should have a Rugby league in India like Pro Kabaddi league, Premier Badminton League, so people would be more aware of the sport?
Nothing like getting your sport in the mass media. It makes a big difference if a Rugby League starts off and is telecast on TV. This way, people will get to know better about the sport and understand the nuances of the game.
7) How do you think the sport will improve in the next few years?
It all starts with creating awareness among the younger generation about the sport. We have the Indian government support now and has Rugby has made its way into Olympics. More and more people are getting to know about it and in a few years, there will be Rugby leagues in all the schools and colleges in India which will get more ppl interested in it.
8) What makes Rugby a standout sport?
It’s fast, entertaining and a contact game. Also, it is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Some bone shattering tackling, speed and crazy game skills are what makes it a unique sport.
9) Your future plans and how are you going to take the sport ahead… Please share your dream.
I’m currently in our Indian rugby camp preparing for the Asian championship in Taiwan. The plan, for now, is just getting better and attending all the Indian camps that I can. The only current thought is to contribute my best to the country.
I have played 2 sports for the national team – Rugby and American football. I want to also get into the the India Ultimate Frisbee Team which will make it 3 sports for the country.
10) Most memorable moment in your Rugby Career.
When I got selected for the Indian national squad of Commonwealth Games held in 2010.
11) How many tournaments have you played?
Just 2 tournaments so far – Olympic pre-qualifier in 2015
Asia championship – 2017
12) Your best advice for people who are looking to take up the sport?
Play for the passion of the game and get better at it. Playing sports helps you build Character, so keep playing no matter what.
All the luck to this star in all his endeavours. Keep flying heights and make our nation proud!
Read: From Winning The Golden-Glove To Playing Alongside Stars Like Paul Scholes: Meet The 21-Year Old Premier Futsal Star
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