Head Coach Huntley Anderson is optimistic about the Rugby Americas North (RAN) tournament in Miami, Florida. The tournament runs from July 9th to the 16th and features 23 matches, 14 teams and a variety of administrative and educational events to further develop rugby in the region. Both the Men’s U19 Championships and the inaugural Women’s 10-a-side tournament will be played and streamed live throughout the week.
The 24-man Jamaican squad, comprised of all Corporate Area players and one Canada-based player, is scheduled to depart the island tomorrow for the tournament which was formerly known as the North America Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA), the body in America which is responsible for rugby development under the International Rugby Board (IRB).
July 10 the Jamaican team will play against against St Lucia, before they meet against teams of Guyana and The Bahamas, where a win will guarantee them to play in the premier cup competition.
“The perks for that (Cup) competition is that we are coming up on some World Cup qualifiers youth championships. So what you would find is that if it is that we would have qualified to play against the top opponents, it would give us a better opportunity to start preparing,” Huntley Anderson said.
Anderson, who will secure his first cap as coach on the international stage, said the team has been in preparation mode since April, when they started out with 60 hopefuls before selecting the final squad.
“Our preparation has been great so far; basically what we have been doing is finalising our tactics in terms of game play. In terms of our style of play that we are working on, you will find that we are more of a contact team and that is basically what I am finalising for them now.
The team will be supported by RAN in providing accommodation and some airfare, while the Jamaica Rugby Union (JRU) and members in the Diaspora will assist with the remainder of funds for airfare and meals.
Team: Tajae Wallace, Adrian Brown, Stephan White, Leonardo Mattis, Michael Beckford, Delano Jarrett, Atiba Wynter, Odane Lalor (captain), Mikel Facey, Adrian Christie, Renaldo McCarthy, Mark Simpson, Quamie Green, Miguel Facey (vice captain), Alpachino Mignott, Shemar Henry, Matthew Patterson, Ricardo Vickers, Alvin Gordon, Jaleel Watson, Jimel Watson, Rascheem Kitson, Oneil Murphy, Romeish Smith.