Ospreys Rugby have entered into a strategic agreement with Rugby India that will see the two organisations working closely together to develop the sport in the country.
The partnership is the latest for the region following confirmation of a number of sister club relationships across Europe, and the first with a national governing body. It is also the first such arrangement for Rugby India.
The agreement between the Ospreys and Rugby India will see an exchange of rugby knowledge and coaching expertise, with the Ospreys providing specialist assistance as Rugby India works towards potential qualification for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Olympic sevens tournament. Longer term, the increased access to high-level rugby information, systems and structures will help to grow all forms of the game in India.
Off the field the Ospreys and Rugby India will collaborate commercially, with the region enjoying increased brand awareness in Asia as well as providing global reach for commercial partners of the governing body. In addition, the partnership will allow an opportunity for a mutual exchange of commercial IP and staff development.
Plans are already in place for a number of high profile events in Mumbai featuring the Ospreys to help launch the new partnership.
Andrew Hore, Chief Executive, Ospreys Rugby said:
“We are absolutely delighted to be able to confirm this exciting new partnership with Rugby India. It’s a mutually beneficial agreement that will see us helping to grow the game in one of the biggest potential rugby markets in the world while increasing the profile of Ospreys Rugby in Asia and helping to establish us as a truly global rugby brand.
“Rugby India share our innovative outlook on the game, and the possibilities that this partnership brings are endless. We are looking forward to working closely with them on a number of local, national and international projects that will help to put both organisations at the forefront of the game, on and off the field. The sport continues to grow internationally and it is important that the Ospreys are involved in the continuing expansion of rugby in all corners of the globe.”
Nasser Hussain, General Manager of Rugby India and former national team captain, said:
“This new partnership is huge news for Rugby India. It offers some wonderful opportunities for the growth of both our organisations and is something to be excited about. Our initial discussions have shown us that the Ospreys have a real appetite for working within India and I have absolutely no doubt that this relationship can be a huge success for all parties.”
All of the Ospreys travel and logistics in India will be managed by NEI UK, a leading independent travel company specialising in the Asian market.
Eric Holliday of NEI UK said:
“The bringing together of Rugby India and the Ospreys is a significant achievement. From my awareness of the Ospreys sister-club partnerships, I knew that Rugby India would benefit from a partnership with the Ospreys and I am glad I was able to help bring the two parties together.
“NEI UK is continuing to promote the partnership both in Wales and in India and stands ready to ensure that any activities in India proceed smoothly and hitch free.”
The history of rugby in India can be traced as far back as 1871 during the visit of H.M.S. Galatea. The formation of the Indian Rugby Football Union in 1968 and it subsequent membership to the sport’s international governing body World Rugby in April 1999 has led to dramatic growth in all versions of the game in the country in recent years.
According to Rugby India there are currently in excess of 35,000 active players in the country and India are ranked 69th out of 102 nations in the World Rugby rankings.PICTURED ABOVE - ANDREW MILLWARD SHAKES ON THE NEW AGREEMENT WITH NASSER HUSSAIN, GENERAL MANAGER, RUGBY INDIA.