U-18 ruggers ready for battle against Jamaica and U.S.
By Faizool Deo
December 11, 2003
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At a press conference held at Olympic House, it was announced that the Guyana team will go into encampment from 12:30 hrs today at the St Paul’s Catholic Church in Vryheid’s Lust.
Team manager of the U-18 side John Lewis stated that the Guyana players have been training for the last several months, while improving their knowledge of the game and learning to play as a team.
The encampment will last throughout the competition.
Players will only leave the building when taking part in the competition or to practise on the nearby field.
This tournament will dictate Guyana’s fate, since the victorious team in the competition will be selected to participate in the finals of the U-19 Rugby World Cup in South Africa next March or April.
Tomorrow at 15:30 hrs after a brief opening ceremony, Guyana, the winner of the Southern Zone in the West Indies, will challenge the winner of the Northern Zone, Jamaica, in the opening match of the competition.
This match is important also since the match will decide an overall winner of the 2003 West Indies championships.
On Saturday the competition that will see patrons paying $300 and children Under-12 paying $100 is scheduled to continue with Jamaica going up against the United States of America, while on Sunday the competition will conclude with the USA-Guyana clash.
Along with the fact that this is the first time that Guyana has reached this stage in its U-18 rugby history, the competition holds merit since this is also the first time that the United States of America’s national team is visiting our country for a rugby tournament.
Last night the USA team was due to arrive while the Jamaican team is scheduled to touch down tonight.
The USA team will be staying at the Ocean View International Hotel, while the Jamaican side will be staying in the Sophia dormitory.
The GRFU president said yesterday that his organization is hoping not only to sell the tournament to the visiting teams, but the country and its tourism prospects as a whole.
“We are hoping to host the tournament in a competent manner, while showing off Guyana at the same time. The Ministry of Tourism has seen this as an opportunity and has decided to come onboard. Each player and official will receive a tourism package, which contains tourism magazines and pamphlets about our country.”
Sponsorship for the tournament comes mainly from the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company GT&T, Banks DIH, the Canadian High Commission, BWIA (with discounts for players using the airline) and US$1 000 dollars from the International Rugby Union.
All members of the GRFU will make an appeal for Guyanese to come out in their numbers since not only will they be entertained by superb rugby, the now fastest growing sport in the world, but they will be supporting the home side, as they continue their quest on the road to South Africa.