TT senior men and women’s national rugby sevens teams will leave for Barbados tomorrow to compete at the 2018 Rugby Americas North (RAN) Sevens tournament which runs this weekend at the Bellevue Plantation and Polo Club.
The national teams which have been in training over the past month will be looking to win both titles and re-establish TT as the top sevens team in the region.
Both men’s team manager Curtis Nero and women’s manager Jenilee Limada indicated that the task of winning, though tough, is achievable. They said their players are pumped and eager for the challenge.
Meanwhile, Larry Mendez, head coach of the men’s sevens outfit said his team is a relatively mature outfit, one which can appreciate the challenge.
They will face Cayman Islands, St Vincent and the Grenadines and St Lucia in Pool D.
Carlton Felix, coach of the women’s sevens team, indicated that the players are excited and looking forward to the tournament. He added that even though the team is structured differently than in past events, the athletes selected have the experience and ability to go all the way.
The women’s tournament features two groups. TT is in Pool B alongside Jamaica, Bermuda, Bahamas and Curacao.
The tournament also serves as a qualifier for the Pan American Games and the 2019 Hong Kong Sevens, added incentives for the teams to produce good performances.
TT Rugby Football Union president Colin Peters thanked the Sport Company of TT (SporTT) and by extension, the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, as without their support, the teams may have had to forgo participation in this tournament.
Men’s team: Nigel Ballington, Stefan Cooksammy, Shakeel Dyte, Keston Earle, Shakir Flemming, Christopher Hudson, Wayne Kelly, Leon Pantor, Joseph Quashie (captain), Agboola Silverthorn, Sefanaia Waqa.
Staff: Larry Mendez (coach), Curtis Nero (manager), Jelani Baptiste (physiotherapist).
Women’s team: Angel Cooper, Fayola Jack, Kwanieze John, Lean Kintiba, Marika Mendez, Nicolette Pantor (captain), Carlina Phillip, Kathleen Stephen, Juliana Straker, Maria Thomas, Kanisha Vincent, Christine Walcott.
Staff: Carlton Felix (coach), Jenilee Limada (manager), Derek Ashby-Williams (physiotherapist).