The remainder of T&T’s senior men and women’s teams will leave for the 2019 Rugby Americas North (RAN) Sevens Tournament in the Cayman Islands on Thursday. Half of the contingent left on Wednesday.
The tournament this year will be a qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
The men, who are being led by Leon Pantor, will attempt to earn a qualifying berth without the services of regular coach Larry Mendez, who is in the United States on a coaching internship programme. Mendez was replaced by interim coach Felician Guerra, who told the media his team is hyped and raring to go. According to Felician, the players have responded well to his methods and are ready to show all their preparation was not in vain.
Meanwhile, the women’s team is coached by Carlton Felix and will be led by Kathleen Stephens. Felix said in a release on Tuesday that his charges are ready to show that their second-place finish at the 2018 RAN Sevens competition and subsequent qualification to the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, was no fluke.
He noted his team intends to go one better and win the tournament this year. T&T Rugby Football Union (TTRFU) president Colin Peters, who on Tuesday commended the efforts of the staff at the Sport Company of T&T and Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs for the persistence shown to ensure funds were ready for his teams, also thanked T&T Olympic Committee president Brian Lewis and former TTRFU president Leslie Figaro for the support shown for him.
Peters said: “It is important to note that in these difficult financial times, we can still count on the government of the country to support the National Sporting Organisations (NSOs) in their quest to bring sporting glory to T&T.”
Nigel Ballington, Shakeel Dyte, Shakir Flemming, Jahreem George, Anthony Forde, Christopher Hudson, Emmanuel Joseph, Akeem Leben, Leon Pantor (captain), Joshua Seechan, Agboola Silverthorn, Jonathan Taylor.
Felician Guerra (Interim Coach), Jerry Legal (Asst Coach), Curtis Nero (Manager), Jelani Baptiste (Physiotherapist)
Apphia Glasgow, Fayola Jack, Kwanieze John, Leah Kintiba, Marika Mendez, Aqiyla O’Brien, Carlina Phillip, Kathleen Stephens (captain), Blossom Stewart, Maria Thomas, Kanisha Vincent, Christine Walcott.
Carlton Felix (Coach), Kelson Figaro (Asst Coach), Jenilee Limada (Manager), Dalia Jordan-Brown (Medical Doctor), Derek Ashby-Williams (Massage Therapist).