BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday February 13, 2014, CMC – The Barbados Men’s Rugby Sevens team has qualified for the XX Commonwealth Games set for Glasgow Scotland in July, following the withdrawal of Nigeria.
Barbados will compete in Group A with 4-time winners New Zealand, host country Scotland and Canada.
Last year the team attended the North America and Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) Sevens Championships with the goal of achieving at least a third place finish.
This position would have qualified them for the 2014 IRB Sevens World Series (SWS) in Hong Kong and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland.
The Bajans qualified for the SWS but missed the Commonwealth Games due to a third place playoff loss to Trinidad and Tobago.
“The boys are understandably overjoyed to have earned this opportunity, but now the real work starts,” Director of Men’s Sevens, Joe Whipple.
“The teams that we will face in our Group in Scotland are all core teams on the IRB SWS circuit, so they will have the advantage of having played a full season of high level rugby going into the Games. We need playing time as a group and to get bigger and fitter to compete at that level.”
The Barbados team has been hard at work for the past three months, training for major tournaments in Tobago, Las Vegas and Hong Kong.
The full squad, including United Kingdom based and Barbados based players, will assemble in mid-March at Loughborough University in the East Midlands for a weeklong training camp en route to the Hong Kong tournament.
Preparations for the 2014 CWG will kick into full gear in late May and three Sevens tournaments have been planned for the UK in May and June, and two more tournaments in July.
“These tournaments are critical to our preparations.” says Whipple.
“They will allow us to see which of our players can compete at the highest levels, who has the commitment to improve all aspects of their game, and how effective our playing style is against the big teams.” Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)