• Roulston to prepare TTRFU U21s for games with senior team

    <span style="color:#666666"><em><strong>The Trinidad and Tobago Rugby Football Union(TTRFU) will conduct a screening session for players selected on the T&amp;T 2007,08 and 09 U 19 national rugby teams.</strong></em></span> The first screening and training session is scheduled for Friday 30th October at the Harvard pitch from 4.15 pm and will be conducted by New Zealander Murray Roulston. Roulston is assisting with the preparation of the T&amp;T national 7s team for the upcoming NACRA 7s rugby championship.He is also conducting an audit on the technical and tactical level of local rugby. He will select and prepare a TTRFU U21 team for two games against a TTRFU President's 15. The matches will be played in early December and will be used to assess and identify players to be selected for the National senior rugby team pathway programme. A former assistant coach of the New Zealand based Hurricanes and Highlanders Super 14 professional rugby union teams . Roulston, former Director of Coaching for the Otago Rugby Union was the assistant coach of the Hurricanes for five seasons. and one season with the Highlanders He has also assisted with the coaching of the Otago NPC side and New Zealand Colts and was a Technical Advisor for the 2006 Vodaphone Wellington Lions in the Air New Zealand Cup competition.He has also had stints in Japan and Romania. Since arriving in T&amp;T in late September Roulston who was recommended by the IRB's Lee Smith has provided the TTRFU with the depth of knowledge, technical and tactical analysis that will be shared with local coaches during a series of coaching development workshops that will be hosted by the TTRFU over the next two months. <!–nextpage–> TTRFU president Leslie Figaro has expressed satisfaction with the clarity and direction that Roulston is bringing to the TTRFU as the local rugby union charts the way forward for rugby in Trinidad and Tobago. <blockquote><p><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/start_quote_rb.gif" align="texttop" alt="" /> "We have had tremendous support and guidance from the IRB, the IRB Trust, and Tom Jones(NACRA General Manager) over the last decade. The Ministry of Sport has also contributed immeasurably to where we are at now in terms of Caribbean Rugby. This particular initiative complements the support we continue to receive from the IRB. We (TTRFU) are determined to get to the next level and be competitive with Canada and the USA. We have had to be very honest with ourselves.Last year we did not achieve two key strategic objectives.We did not get pass Brazil and neither win the NACRA 7s. Roulston has identified why we failed and what we must do to address those shortcomings." <img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/end_quote_rb.gif" align="absbottom" alt="" /></p></blockquote> Figaro said that the TTRFU will do what it believes is necessary to improve. He acknowledged that not everyone will support or agree with the decision to bring in Roulston. <blockquote><p><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/start_quote_rb.gif" align="texttop" alt="" /> " The TTRFU is transparent and accountable. Our relationship with the IRB and the Ministry of Sport is on the basis that our accounts are audited.We have had a strategic development plan since 1996 that is reviewed and updated. The bottom line is that we want to go further than just winning Caribbean championships.I am confident that our ambitions are realistic.I am also confident that our local coaches and players have the capability and will benefit from Murray's technical and tactical knowledge, and experience ." <img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/end_quote_rb.gif" align="absbottom" alt="" /></p></blockquote> Source: <a href="http://www.ttrfu.com/mrDetails.aspx?Id=992">TTRFU Website</a>

     
  • Cayman women heading to Mexico

    The Cayman Islands have announced their squad of 12 to compete at the NACRA (North America Caribbean Rugby Association) Sevens in Mexico City in November. The selection follows the conclusion of a six-week selection process under coaches Philip Fourie and Jason Scarff attended by 16 players who had been shortlisted for the tournament. <div class="image_block"><img src="http://www.rugbybahamas.com/images/sto_cay_001.jpg" alt="" title="" width="294" height="221" /></div> The Cayman Islands (pictured beach training above) will compete against Mexico, Guyana, Bahamas and Jamaica in the competition. Led by captain Joanne Ziegler, the Cayman Islands 7s team is a solid mix of experience, speed and strength and the squad features eight players making their international 7s debuts including Bernadette Beckles, who is also a member of the national 15s team. Beckles recently returned to the Cayman Islands having played successfully at the University of Connecticut for four years. The selection for the team was an intense process that focused on fitness levels, ball handling skills and game awareness. Coach Philip Fourie said that the recent trial games were probably the most intense that players have experienced in recent years. "Having played successfully in build-up games in the local LIME Sevens Tournament in October I think that the team is the best prepared yet," he said. Ziegler added: “The team we will be travelling with have some good 15s experience under their belt which will help to ease nerves when they step on the pitch. The next critical level of experience for these players is in the Sevens field and we are confident that our training will lead to great improvements over last year’s performance”. The Cayman Islands team will arrive in Mexico City on 13 November to prepare for the two day tournament. <!–nextpage–> Ziegler said that Caribbeean nations felt that 7s was a game that suited them. "Women’s 7s rugby is definitely a strength of the Caribbean nations due to the natural speed of the players, as evidenced by Caribbean results in the World Track and Field Championship, and we are always looking to recruit new players and develop our existing players in order that we can be successful against our fellow nations. Sevens rugby has recently been added to the schedule for both the PanAm games (in 2011 – for both men and women) and the Olympic Games so there are beginning to be great opportunities in the sport.” . The women’s competition at the Nacra Sevens will be a round robin format played over two days with each of the five teams playing each other twice. Combined results over the 20 Matches (10 matches per day) will determine overall standings. Source: <a href="http://www.scrumqueens.com/news/105-cayman-women-heading-to-mexico.html">Scrum Queen</a>

     
  • Healy (Bermuda): West Indies team headed for demise

    <span style="color:#666666"><em><strong>Bermuda's top rugby sevens player has described the IRB's decision to axe the West Indies team from international competitions as "gut-wrenching".</strong></em></span> Tom Healy said he was very disappointed by the move, which means Bermudian players will no longer have the opportunity to play at the highest level. Healy, who was Bermuda's sole representative in West Indies side that played in the Hong Kong Sevens tournament last March, said the decision could lead to the demise of his team. He said: "The IRB series is the highlight of the West Indies Sevens team's calendar. "It is the only chance Caribbean-based players and Bermudian players get at playing at the highest level. "This decision in essence will lead to the demise of the West Indies rugby team. "And this all comes at a time when we are at our peak, given recent results in Hong Kong where we gave Kenya a good run for their money and competed well against fully professional players. "This is a huge body blow to us given how far we have come - this last year has been the best one we have had for a long time." Mr. Healy added: "As players we have to keep to our own strict regime of fitness and food - so that we keep in shape. "It's tough to do and we only get together for a few weeks every year to practice. "To find out that this has all been in vain is a real gut wrencher." Mr. Healy confirmed that the West Indies squad would be appealing against the decision - but he said he did not hold much hope. "The IRB would not have made this decision if they had any thought of going back on it. That is the simple facts of the situation. "In the long run this could have a huge effect on rugby in Bermuda and the Caribbean -­ I know that if I didn't have the opportunity to play in competitions we have played in over the last few years I would not have pushed myself. "And I'm sure it will be the same for other younger players. "This decision by the IRB could signal the end of the West Indies rugby sevens team." The West Indies current coach, Joe Whipple, said: "The aspect of this decision that brings me the greatest sadness is will the next generations of players be lost when they have so much to offer. He added: "Although the IRB's decision was relayed by North America Caribbean Rugby Association there was no consultation with the NACRA executive or more particularly, the elected West Indies representatives. "Personally, this process is troubling as it does not follow the ideals of the Olympic spirit which embraces the democratic process." Source: <a href="http://www.bermudasun.bm/main.asp?SectionID=8&amp;SubSectionID=203&amp;ArticleID=43263">Bermuda Sun</a>

     
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  • Al Caravelli: "I can’t stop smiling"

    <span style="color:#666666"><em><strong>USA Sevens coach Al Caravelli underlines what the Olympic decision means to rugby in the States.</strong></em></span> <div class="image_block"><img src="http://www.rugbybahamas.com/images/boydusa_7473_SQ_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="" title="" width="225" height="225" /></div> <span style="color:#009900"><em><strong>Justin Boyd helped the USA to its most successful ever season last year</strong></em></span> The sport of Sevens, and all of Rugby, has just been handed an incredible opportunity, and I share the excitement that my fellow coaches and players have in the aftermath of the Olympic vote. As my colleague and friend Paul Treu, the South Africa Sevens coach, says: <em>"Life will change as we know it today with the inclusion of rugby Sevens in the Olympics".</em> On the evening of 8 October I felt like a child waiting to open his presents on Christmas day. I set my alarm for 05:15 for the Friday but didn't even need the alarm. I woke up five minutes before it went off, turned on my computer and started to watch the proceedings live online from Copenhagen. I could not take my eyes off it and was glued to the monitor until the vote came through. During the presentations, I knew for a fact that Rugby's was very impressive, professional and gave all the passion that our sport brings. I very much enjoyed the comments and questions from the IOC membership and my favourite came from two members who asked why our Olympic event was only planned for 12 teams! I also liked IRB Chief Executive Mike Millar's answer: <em>"We followed the guidance of the Executive members of the IOC, but if the IOC feels we should have more teams, we will add more."</em> I can see that for the benefit of the Olympics, we should have a minimum of 16 teams, and the fact that it's happening in Rio is an even bigger bonus. Only time will tell. <span style="color:#0000CC"><em><strong>"Even after my car was towed, I was still smiling"</strong></em></span> Later that day I went into New York City to celebrate with several rugby people, since this is a historic moment for everyone in the global rugby family. Even after getting my car towed I was still smiling. Nothing could have got me down on that day, and very little has since. Now that we are an official Olympic sport it will create several opportunities for rugby all across the world. Last week I was in Argentina, the country my father and I played for, at a Sevens coaching course organized jointly by the IRB and the Pan American Sports Organization, sponsored by the Argentine Olympic Committee and the Argentina Rugby Union. This was fully funded by PASO and the National Olympic Committees, there was only one representative per country and I was amazed when I saw 30 people in attendance. The countries represented were Canada (Morgan Williams, new men's coach), USA (Sue Parker, current Women's Coach), Mexico, Bermuda, Bahamas, Trinidad &amp; Tobago, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Dutch Antilles, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Paraguay, Colombia, Saint Vincent, Argentina (new coach, Nicolas Fernandez Lobbe) and Paraguay. <!–nextpage–> To have 30 participants to something organized in such a short timeframe was hugely impressive and the goal was to make sure that the countries' national coaches are certified to coach Sevens for the Pan Am games in 2011 and, of course, the Olympics in Rio. <span style="color:#0000CC"><em><strong>Coaches turn to Sevens</strong></em></span> Four of the coaches had no rugby coaching experience at all but, having been top class coaches for over 20 years in other sports like soccer and swimming, were sent along. So, as we all imagined, things will move quickly for people who take advantage of these opportunities. Back in the USA, everyone seems to be asking us how much money will USA Rugby will get, but we don't view it that way. What we see now is that resources will become more available to us via the US Olympic Committee (USOC). Having availability to the Olympic Training Centres (OTC), living on site, taking advantage of the world class facilities that have been set up for current medallists and Olympic hopefuls are all huge benefits, plus there's nutrition, mental skills, sports physiology (for example lactate test), sports medical facilities, top of the line playing surfaces, recovery aids, to name just a few things. What is required from us is still a lot of hard work to continue to grow our relationship with the USOC and the OTCs, but the good thing is that we in rugby are used to hard work, especially in the USA where nothing has ever come easy. We don't expect anything easy so whatever is given to us we are grateful for, but it will change our lives. These are very exciting times. <span style="color:#0000CC"><em><strong>A world of opportunity</strong></em></span> Shortly, we will be on site at the OTC in Chula Vista, just south of San Diego, in preparation for the first two IRB Sevens World Series events in Dubai and George, South Africa. Twenty athletes will be competing for the 12 spots on the squad, and the honour of representing the USA against England, Kenya and Russia first up. We will have 15 or more new players so this is the best possible environment that these athletes can be in to prepare for the start of the series. Neither have we given up on the idea of giving our players the ability to train full time. We are still working on that as we all know that South Africa, New Zealand, Kenya, Scotland and now Wales have raised the stakes by centrally contracting their players for Sevens. We want to do the same. In the meantime, we will continue to work hard and keep smiling. The future is very bright. Source: <a href="http://www.irb.com/irbsevens/news/newsid=2034111.html">Al Caravelli, iRB.com</a>

     
  • Stadium of Four Million

    <span style="color:#666666"><em><strong>This is the commercial that helped New Zealand win the 2011 Rugby World Cup</strong></em></span> <div style="text-align:center"><object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" style="width:350px; height:288px" data="http://www.youtube.com/v/ryQN4JqzDRM&amp;NR&amp;hl=en&amp;rel=0&amp;color1=19acdc&amp;color2=19acdc&amp;border=1"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/ryQN4JqzDRM&amp;NR&amp;hl=en&amp;rel=0&amp;color1=19acdc&amp;color2=19acdc&amp;border=1" /></object><em><strong><span style="color:#009900">Stadium of Four Million</span></strong></em></div>

     
  • Guyana: Rugby players starting rigorous training ahead of Mexico championships

    <span style="color:#666666"><em><strong>Gyana's rugby players are due to undergo four days of rigorous training under the direction of Technical Director and West Indies Captain Joe Whipple as they gear-up for the Caribbean championships in Mexico next month.</strong></em></span> Two of the three overseas-based players: England-based Kevin McKenzie and Trinidad and Tobago-based Richard Staglon are due in the country this week to join the squad’s preparation for the games which for the first time, will be used as a qualifying match for the Commonwealth Games set for India in October, 2010. <div class="image_block"><img src="http://www.rugbybahamas.com/images/20091021noel.jpg" alt="" title="" width="144" height="202" align="right" /></div> Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) president Noel Adonis told Stabroek Sport that the third overseas-based player Rupert Giles, may not be able to join the team until it meets Mexico as he is attending school and may not be given time-off. He expects the 12-player team to be selected at month end, two weeks ahead of the games set for November 14 and 15 in Mexico City. Adonis said too due to the media hype about the team’s past performance and preparation for the North America and Caribbean Rugby Association Sevens Championship its fundraising efforts have netted positive gains. He said the GRFU is close to raising the US$35,000 needed for the team’s travel and accommodation expenses. “We are getting there,” he said, though he declined to give the figure raised so far. He also said government has yet to respond to the request for assistance but “we are still open to contributions.” <!–nextpage–> According to Adonis the response to the fundraising bar-b-que and the Paul Keens-Douglas show organized by Gems Theatre Productions and the GRFU have been well supported. Also, the raffle that should have been drawn on September 26 will now be drawn on Saturday at 4pm at the National Park. As regard training, Head Coach Laurie Adonis said the players practice regularly to build stamina and mental fitness. Four practice matches were held on Saturday for both the men’s and ladies teams. The head coach said the teams will be expected to play three to four games on the opening day so the aim is to get them accustomed to playing a number of matches in one day. He also said two key players; Claudius Butts and Albert La Rose, are recovering from injuries though he expects both to rejoin the team for training this week. La Rose participated in Saturday’s practice matches. Additionally, ladies team Coach Alton Agard said their fitness levels are at a BEEP Fitness Test level seven; while team captain Sabola Gray is at level 10. Agard said fitness was key to playing well and he expects that within two weeks the core players will all be at fitness level nine. The ladies championships will comprise five teams which will be played on a round-robin basis. Source: <a href="http://www.stabroeknews.com/2009/sports/10/21/rugby-players-starting-rigorous-training-ahead-of-mexico-championships/">Stabroek News</a>

     
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Cuckoos "B" – Nassau Youth

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