THE Trinidad and Tobago Rugby Football Union (TTRFU), given its limited resources and the uncertainty of the release of funding from government, has earmarked just four events in which the various national teams will compete in this year.
All four events are scheduled for July. The tournaments reflect the Ministry of Sport and the Sport Company of TT's (SporTT) articulated mandate to primarily assist in funding sporting events of the highest priority. Those refer to major events that have direct implications for the national teams, including qualifying tournaments for World Championships, Pan American Games, Central America and Caribbean (CAC) Games, Olympics, and similar events.
Only one of the four events involve the senior national men's team – the 2019 RAN Sevens Tournament, which runs from July 6-7 in the Cayman Islands. It serves as a qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The senior women's team will also travel to that tournament. Two other events specifically involve the senior women's team: the 2019 RAN Senior Women's 10-a-Side Tournament in Barbados from July 19-20 and the 2019 Pan American Games sevens tournament in Lima, Peru, from July 27-28.
The one other event the TTRFU will prepare a team for is the 2019 RAN Men's Under-19 15-a-side tournament in Barbados, from July 18-21. There will be no tournament for the Under-19 women's national team.
TTRFU president Colin Peters, in a recent interview with Newsday said the union will prepare for the tournaments although funding by government has not yet been disbursed to them. With their schedule trimmed to four tournaments, Peters is confident the funding will be made available for them.
"They said they were looking at funding. We have made the request to the Ministry of Sport, who will subsequently make the request from the Ministry of Finance. So we are going ahead of the planning," Peters had said.
He added, "We cannot wait to hear if yes or no."
The senior men's team began extensive training for the RAN Sevens earlier this week, and will continue with high intensity training with facilities and personnel provided by SporTT.