Player profiles: Surabhi and Shru from RFS Pune

[originally posted January 27, 2012]

So, who exactly are these two lovely friends of mine you ask?

Surabhi has a smile that’s contagious and an equally infectious work ethic. The natural streak of humility that runs through her character guides her in work and play. When asked about her proudest moment: would you say captaining for India? She replies, “Well, you know…I felt pretty neutral about it. Rugby is a team sport after all.” Shru — often her partner in crime — has a jovial spirit and an easy laugh.  She talks excitedly about overcoming her ACL surgery and her love for that special flavor of catharsis that comes from wrecking the opposition.

Both girls find time between their college studies to play for RFS Pune, anddddd occasionally suit up for India and pound out some international tries.

They’re lucky — though Surabhi notes, “I’m an Indian girl. It’s [rugby] not very Indian. We’re not brought up that way,” she and Shru both come from families totally encouraging of their daughters’ (bloody/bruised/broken) pursuits.   Often, women ruggers here find themselves stuck between the cultural cornerstone that dictates that girls should ‘play nice,’ and that rugby foundation that requires them to play hard.

2016 Olympic dreams in mind, Is there anything that would stop you from playing? The list ran in my head — the inevitable marriage? Another degree? A job abroad?

She thinks.

“Nothing is going to make us stop playing,” says Surabhi, “…unless we are geriatrics…who can’t move.”