‘Green Machine’ plots journey to regaining Caribbean dominance
- “We need to train as hard as we can”- GRFU President
This year’s Rugby Americas North (RAN) Sevens will now be held from April 23-24 in The Bahamas. For Guyana’s ‘Green Machine’, who once dominated the competition with seven titles, they are hoping to regain such supremacy.
According to the recently re-elected Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) President, Ryan Dey, they need to put in hard work in training to replicate the successes of the past.
The National Men’s Rugby Sevens team last tasted Championship success at the RAN level in 2016.
A transitioning team, bad tactics and luck of the sport all went against them since that triumph, but the GRFU has a renewed vigour and executive, who want to redeem themselves as a formidable force in Caribbean rugby.
In fact, they had indicated after the fifth-place finish in 2021, that their aim was these championships, which were initially set for February in Mexico.
The delay has afforded the team much more needed preparation time to plan how to topple Jamaica, who have become their kryptonite among the English-speaking Caribbean teams.
“The formulae is easy; we need to train as hard as we can,” Dey stated.
“Jamaica is the team (to beat) now, but I am of the opinion we can beat this team once we have the time to train and once we have the personnel in the right place, and that is what myself and the coaches are working on right now to get players ripe for April and we’re on track.”
In recent years, younger players were blooded, but with the Commonwealth Games spot up for grabs as well, Dey said they will look for the best balance.
“For this one, we are looking to get the blend that we need, with the experience. When we go to the Commonwealth Games, you are going to see a different team, because we want to use it as a stepping stone for us in Guyana, and you might see some new players coming out of the United States of America,” the GRFU President underscored.
The two-day event – which includes senior Men’s and Women’s divisions – will serve as qualifiers for the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa, in September, along with the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham, England, in July.
The top two Men’s teams and one Women’s team from the event will book their ticket to the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022, while the highest-placed Men’s team will be eligible to participate in the Commonwealth Games 2022 and represent RAN, alongside Canada who has already pre-qualified for both men and women.
USA Men’s and Women’s teams have already qualified for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in South Africa based on their finishing positions at the 2018 edition of the tournament in San Francisco, which means that RAN will be represented by three Men’s teams and two Women’s teams in South Africa.