KARACHI: Trials, organised by the Pakistan Rugby Union’s (PRU), to select the team for the HSBC Asian 7s Rugby concluded in Lahore with 45 players in contention for the forthcoming event.
The two-day trials were the first-leg in which players from Army, Navy, Police Wapda and HEC appeared to seek a place in the national team.
The HSBC Asian 7s Rugby will be held in Mumbai from October 13 to 14 in Mumbai where 16 countries will vie for the top honour.
PRU President Fawzi Khwaja said the candidates will be shortlisted following the second-leg next week.
“We will shortlist the players for a preliminary squad of 20 players,” Khwaja told The Express Tribune. “After the second-leg, PRU will hold another trial later this month to select the 12 best players for the final squad.”
Khwaja added that while the team is not expected to clinch the title,PRU hoped that an improvement will be shown at the international level.
“We’re rated in the lower half of the standings. So we’ll go with a target to improve our international standing. Our participation in such events is to promote the sport in our country. The players are showing a lot of interest and we’re upbeat about the future.”
Pakistan’s last international outing was the Asian Five-Nation Rugby in May in Malaysia where the team failed to advance from Div III following the loss against India.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2012.