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Premiership Rugby

India to take on the Leicester Tigers

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

The Tigers have teamed up with the Indian Rugby Football Union (IRFU) and S Sports Ltd to arrange the match, and will be mobilising the massive Indian presence in the region to boost support for the event.

Leicester has the second-largest Asian community outside of India. A total of 43 percent of Leicester's population is of Asian origin, second only to the South African city of Durban.

The game also has the backing of Indian cricket's 'Bharat Army', India's equivalent of England's Barmy Army fan group.

A number of Indian TV stations have shown an interest in broadcasting the occasion, which will be well publicised in advance by Britain's Asian media.

"This is a great chance for us to go some way to introducing more of our local community to the club," said Leicester Tigers Chief Executive Peter Wheeler.

IRFU President Pramod Khanna added: "India has a rich heritage of the game but, due to some reasons, the game never took off as it should have done.

"Nevertheless, the potential is far more than what one sees, and therefore it is the concerted effort of a few dedicated die-hards and lovers of the game who have now taken it upon themselves to promote and popularise it in India.

"Several international rugby personalities have visited India and noticed the potential. All believe it to be a sleeping giant and, given the proper approach, it is ready to explode on to the international scene.

"We are indeed happy to be associated with our friends at S Sports Ltd, and we believe that they have the experience and expertise in helping the IRFU achieve its targets.

"The Indian team is, for the first time, embarking on a visit to the UK, and the boys are extremely excited and looking forward to playing some of the top teams.

"Irrespective of whatever the scoreboards show, I must assure you that it is going to be a very spirited effort by the Indians."

India are currently placed 89th in the official World Rankings. They have only just hosted their first ever official test match recently, when they took on Chinese Taipei in Calcutta in the IRB's Asian Quadrangular competition – a tournament which also saw them travel to face Malaysia and Singapore.

Tickets for the game will be available from November 1 at the Tigers' ticket office priced between £8 and £1 for Tigers season ticket holders, and £10 to £1 for non-season ticket holders, while hospitality packages and sponsorship opportunities are also available.


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