Special Correspondent

Mumbai: Food and supplements were allegedly in short supply for the 24 Indian rugby players preparing for the Commonwealth Games at the three-month camp held at Balewadi, Pune. At an open session with the press at the Bombay Gymkhana on Thursday evening, Norman Laker, the South African coach of the Indian team, said: “The food at Balewadi was not enough. I pointed this out to Pramod Khanna (President, Indian Rugby Football Union) and he took it up with the Sports Authority of India (SAI), but things did not improve at all.

“There was one caterer for the Diving and Shooting teams (who require low-fat food) and a few other teams. Perhaps that could be the reason for short supply of red and white meat.”

“The presence of the Indian Hockey team turned out to be a good thing; there were instruments for measuring endurance, explosive power and timing,” said Laker.

“Rugby is a power sport and the SAI is aware of the rugby players’ dietary requirements. We came to Bombay Gymkhana and the food I ate here was far superior to the one provided at Pune. In fact, I did not eat the foot supplied at Balewadi, I went to a restaurant,” said Laker. The Coach also touched upon the improved skill and technique of the Indian players, but urged the authority to provide proper food when the Indian squad returns to Pune after the three-week training-cum-playing at the Stellenbosch Rugby Club in South Africa.

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