Claudius Butts to coach Guyana’s Green Machine at Olympic qualifiers
Seasoned rugby player Claudius Butts will perform the balancing act of player and coach for the Ruby Americas North (RAN) Sevens Championships in the Cayman Islands from July 6-7. The championships will serve as an Olympic qualifier for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
The revelation was made when members of the management team briefed the media at the National Park.
Butts has been a pillar to the eight-time champions success and is understood to have a Level Two accreditation; he coaches in Trinidad and Tobago. Butts takes over from Sherlock Solomon, who will perform the role as Technical Director.
Solomon stated the team has already had a battle against weather and injures in the six-week preparation for the tournament which could be historic for team, should they be victorious.
He further noted it was unfortunate not to have a local camp, however, they will keep a two-day camp in Cayman Islands on Wednesday and Thursday after which they will trim the squad to 12. The team departs Tuesday (July 2).
Despite Jamaica, who have built their squad around players who play professionally in the United Kingdom, and got the edge over Guyana in most recent battles, Solomon fully believes they can topple their nemesis.
At the 2018 RAN Sevens in Barbados, Jamaica’s Men and Mexico Women grabbed the first place titles. Guyana lost the final to Jamaica 17-22.
Manager John Lewis indicated it will be stiff competition, but given the experience, the team has the ability to overcome the challenges.
The big addition to the team is Dominic Lespierre, who is based in England and offers great offensive prowess to this squad.
The other members are Richard Staglon, Peabo Hamilton, Vallon Adams, Patrick King, Jamal Angus, Ryan Gonsalves, Godfrey Broomes, Avery Corbin, Dwayne Schroeder and Ozie McKenzie.
Reserves: Ryan Dey, Selwyn Henry, Breon Walks
Management: Claudius Butts (Player/Coach), Sherlock Solomon (Technical Director), John Lewis (Manager) and Akeem Fraser (Physiotherapist).
The Guyanese are placed in Pool B alongside defending champions Jamaica, hosts Cayman Islands and Trinidad and Tobago. Pool A consists of Canada, Bermuda, Mexico and Barbados.
The tournament will be at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex, a 3,000-seat stadium that is no stranger to international events. Guyana will play their first match against Trinidad at 12:12h followed by Cayman Islands (14:46h) and Jamaica (17:20h).