MANAGER of TT men’s rugby sevens team, Curtis Nero, says his team’s homework has been done and they are ready for the challenge at the Central America and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Barranquilla, Colombia. The national men will leave for Colombia on Saturday, with the men’s competition running for two days. Group matches start on Wednesday, followed by the playoff matches on Thursday.
Speaking ahead of the team’s departure, Nero said the TT sevens outfit has developed into a well-balanced unit with “a good mixture of youth and experience.”
“We are well aware of the improvements made by all the teams in the rugby sevens category of the games and know that it will be a challenge.”
He added, “We are up for the challenge as we continue to follow the success of the other sports thus far.”
TT have had a tremendous showing at the CAC Games so far with medals in cycling, swimming and rowing, including double gold by swimmer Dylan Carter and gold by the TT men’s sprint cycling team.
TT rugby men are pitted in Group B, along with Venezuela, Jamaica and Guatemala. Group A includes Colombia, Guyana, Mexico and Costa Rica.
The Larry Mendez-coached TT team qualified for the tournament after finishing fourth at last year’s Rugby Americas North Sevens Championship. Guyana, Jamaica and Mexico placed first to third respectively for their berths into the CAC Games.
After group action on Wednesday, the winner of each group will meet the fourth placed finisher in the other group, while the second place team in both groups will play the third place teams. The winners will advance to the semifinal.
Harvard standout Joseph Quashie has been named team captain, with 11 other players on the roster including: Nigel Ballington, Shakeel Dyte, Keston Earle, Shakir Flemming, Jahreem George, Wayne Kelly, Aasan Lewis, Leon Pantor, James Phillip, Agboola Silverthorn and Keishon Walker. There are also three reserve players: Christopher Hudson, Emmanuel Joseph and Jerome Richardson.
Felician Guerra is the assistant coach. At the last CAC Games in Veracruz, Mexico, TT won bronze in the men’s competition.