With the disappointment of not having the opportunity to attend the NACRA Sevens Championship last year, the Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) is in the midst of a two-pronged attack to ensure that Guyana is not only represented at this year’s event in Mexico, but that it do so with a formidable team.
Yesterday, as part of its preparations, the GRFU procured sponsorship for its Sevens League which is scheduled to commence tomorrow, at the National Park. During a simple ceremony which was conducted at the Windjammer International Hotel & Cuisine, Manager Carey Griffith pledged the entity’s support, while assurances were also made by Pomeroon Oil Mills through its Golden Brook brand and Sports Journalist Rawle Toney.
In attendance at the occasion were President of the Union Peter Green, Secretary Terrence Grant, PRO Easn Griffith and Captains of the participating men’s teams Theodore Henry of Yamaha Caribs, Daniel Anderson of the University of Guyana, Hornets Ryan Gonsalves and the Guyana Defence Force’s (GDF) Dwayne Schroeder. Absent was a member of the Guyana Police Force (GPF).
Green in his remarks spoke of the ambitious plan of the Union which is to get to Mexico and recapture the NACRA title to go with the 15’s crown that they won earlier this year. Guyana has consistently dominated this format of the sport within the Region, winning the championships from 2006-11, before losing in the 2012 final to Mexico and not being presented with the opportunity to vie for it last year due to administrative bungling.
Commenting on the League itself, Green said it will be used as a build up for players to be selected to the national squad for the upcoming NACRA Sevens. The teams to have confirmed participation in the League are GDF, Hornets, Caribs and the GPF, while Hornets and Caribs will contest the female segment.
The tournament which is expected to run for three weeks will be played using the round-robin format, the two teams with the most points will meet in the final for the title, while the next two will play for third and fourth.
Green intimated that funding for the team is ongoing and he is optimistic that they will get there. Griffith in his brief presentation admitted that his entity is coming on board for the first time in its support for rugby, but has assisted other sports in the past. He wished the Union every success in its endeavour.
Henry, a former national captain and coach announced that the club will be seeking redemption after losing the Banks Sevens recently to UG which he described as disappointing. Anderson said his team already knows what it feels like to be runners-up, but with the recent victory they will be coming into the League with some momentum and are hoping that it will continue.
“We now know what it feels like to be champions; we sleep and dream rugby so we are hungry. Good luck to the other teams,” Anderson commented. Gonsalves, a very experienced player said that his team has not been as consistent as he would like, but they are improving and anything could happen during the League. He thanked all the sponsors for their support.
Schroeder another player who has a vast amount of experience playing locally, regionally and internationally spoke of the Army’s success earlier in the year, adding that he hope it continues.
“We were unable to compete recently due to a number of injuries, but the guys are healthy and we are looking for more success.”
Grant in his remarks gave a brief synoposis of the Mexico event and even sought to allay any fear of the team not being able to attend the event due to lack of funding. He assured that efforts to secure funding are well on its way and expressed confidence that they will participate in the tournament.
He also announced the date for an impending Camp which is scheduled to start on November 9 and should include a few overseas-based players such as Richard Staglon and Kevin McKenzie.
Grant added that all the overseas-based players are already in receipt of the Union’s stipulated bench mark for the Beep Test which stands at 12.
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