Reaching the final is an achievable goal
-IRB coach David Hill
By Clyde Pestano
June 2, 2004
IRB coach David Hill (left) makes a point to the mud-splattered national rugby team yesterday at the YMCA ground after a hectic practice session. (Clyde Pestano photo)
International Rugby Board (IRB) coach and former national Seven's coach of Rugby Canada, David Hill, is of the opinion that the current national rugby team could reach the final of the North American & West Indies Rugby Association (NAWIRA) 2005 Rugby World Cup (RWC) Qualifier slated to take place in the Cayman Islands on June 8-9.
Hill spoke with Stabroek Sports at the YMCA ground yesterday minutes after he had concluded an intensive workout session with the players. He said that the team has quite a number of players who have speed and are also very fit.
According to Hill, the Guyana team is much fitter than when he last worked with them in November. The Canadian declared that his main goal is to get the team into the finals which he feels is achievable.
He said that to achieve this goal, Guyana will be looking to get at least three wins in the round-robin stage of the competition from the four games they will be playing.
Hill said this will guarantee them a place in the semi-finals which he also hopes to win to book a place in the final.
Asked how he got involved in preparing the Guyana team, Hill said that it was an opportunity presented to him by the IRB who, because of the work he had done previously with the team, invited him back to Guyana.
Hill told this newspaper that he found Guyanese very different from many other people in other countries. He said that he was very impressed with the hospitality of the locals ever since he set foot here.
President of the Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) Kit Nascimento in an invited comment told Stabroek Sports that the current national rugby team is the best ever that has prepared for an international engagement. He added that the GRFU has never before prepared a team this long for any such tournament.
Nascimento disclosed that Hill and national coach Sherlock Solomon had put the entire team through the IRB's fitness regimen and they had passed with flying colours.
Hill, according to Nascimento, is considered as one of the best coaches in the world and his input is valued highly since another of his aims will be to take the team to another `level' by honing their skills to perfection in time for the tournament.