After surrendering their title last year in the competition, the National Men’s ruby team, Green Machine have begun early preparations for this year’s championships which will be held on November 12 and 13 in Trinidad and Tobago.
With the aim of reasserting their dominance on this version of Rugby, head coach Kenneth Grant – Stuart has kicked off preparations on Wednesday at the National Park Rugby Field with some gruelling fitness drills.
The head coach is adamant that the players need to improve their fitness ahead of the championships and the work must begin from now.
“This is the first day of training, we are focusing on fitness and the guys look really upbeat; those that are here are happy and we only have half of the squad, with much of them being the younger players; training is the same basically, we are trying to tweak it a bit more so the younger players could fall in and get up to scratch with the senior players,” Grant – Stuart said.
He further stated that “the sessions will be very intense heading forward, I will be having briefing with them of what is expected and the road will be smooth from there”.
Last year at the Cary, North Carolina at WakeMed Soccer Park, the ruggers were the defending champions but placed fifth and continued their dominance over Jamaica with a 19-5 victory. However, Guyana’s overall performance placed them third in the Championships which was not enough to earn qualification to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Cognisant of what is ahead this time, the coach explained that the team knows what is required of them at these championships.
He explained, “Sevens is our baby, the guys know what is required of them to make this, especially the senior players who has a history of this sevens.”
Meanwhile, the female team is seeking a change in fortune and return to their glory days in the competition according to Coach Sabola Gray.
“From 2008 to 2010 we were doing great since we were three times champions and we lost in 2011 and since the we have not brought home a goal, so hopefully this year, i know my girls are going to do a great job, whatever result they come out with I’m going to be proud because we have a lot of young players who are now grooving into the team, Gray explained.
Quizzed as to what is needed to bring the change in performance at the competition, Gray responded saying, “Hard work is needed, we have to do a lot fitness and a lot of ball work, we have a lot players not so familiar with the rules of the game, so we the seniors have to give them advice and help them improve.”
The female side began their preparations since in May and currently in the process of conducting trials to get the girls fitness up to “A-standard”.
The male players selected are; Richard Staglon, Ryan Gonsalves, Akeem Fraser, Kevin McKenzie, Rickford Cummings, Ryan Dey, Rupert Giles, Ronald Mayers, A. Jarvis, Dominique Lespier, Rondell McArthur, Kevon David, Vallon Adams, Dwayne Schroeder, Troy Bascom, Daine Parks, Claudius Butts, P. Joseph, Sean Phillips, Godfrey Broomes, K. Mars, T. Selman, Lancelot Adonis, Leon Greaves, O’Neil Charles, Peabo Hamilton, Osei McKenzie, Cyon Kitt, Patrick King, Grantley Williams, Toby David, Avery Corbin, Jamal Angus, Blaise Bayley and Jason Tyrell.
The officials are Head Coach Kenneth Grant–Stuart, Trainer Barrington Browne and Manager Robin Roberts.
The players identified will be engaged in training on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 15:45h – 18:30h. Practice games are billed for Saturdays from 14:30h and Sundays from 08:00h