15 countries to play at 7s rugby festival in CI

| 14/10/2013

(CRFU): The SteppingStones North American & Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) Rugby Sevens come to Grand Cayman November 9th and 10th 2013 for two days of world class Rugby Sevens action. Fifteen countries will be battling it out over the two day festival in the hopes of reaching the Commonwealth games in Glasgow, CACSO games in Vera Cruz Mexico and the HSBC World Sevens Series Hong Kong tournament in 2014. SteppingStones Recruitment has pledged their support as tournament sponsor. Milly Serpell said SteppingStones shares in the excitement building around the tournament.

“November 9th and 10th will surely be an exciting weekend for all spectators herein Grand Cayman. With over 15 countries and 15 men’s and women’s teams participating in the tournament, it is an opportunity to showcase our talent and make a splash on the Rugby circuit. The SteppingStones NACRA  Rugby Seven’s tournament is a key stop for many international teams, and we look forward to welcoming them to Cayman,” she said.

Canada and the USA are sending their Olympic development teams for both the men and women,with the women’s team looking to use the tournament to improve the performances that saw Canada finish 2nd in the Sevens World Cup and the USA 3rd held in Russia earlier this summer. The men’s team will also be looking to improve their World Sevens Series standings and stay as core teams in 2013/2014. Mexico and Jamaica return as last year’s first and second placed NACRA teams with Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, BVI, Curacao, Guyana, St Vincent, Turks and Caicos, Trinidad and Tobago and of course Cayman Islands looking to upset last year’s champions.

The teams will be split into four pools for day 1 round robin play, with the top two teams in each pool at the end of day 1 going into the Cup round and the bottom two teams going into the Plate round on day 2.

•         Pool A – Canada, Bahamas, Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos
•         Pool B – USA, Barbados, Bermuda and BVI
•         Pool C – Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago, St Vincent and Curacao
•         Pool D – Jamaica, Guyana and St Lucia
Canada and the USA are expected to top Pools A & B respectively at the end of day 1, and based on last year’s form, Mexico and Jamaica expected to top Pools C and D. Cayman will aim to finish 2nd in Pool A and progress to the Cup round on Sunday, where they will likely face Jamaica or Guyana in the quarter final.

The process for teams to qualify for various events in 2014, based on results from the SteppingStones NACRA Rugby Seven’s tournament are quite different than previous years, as outlined:

•        Commonwealth games – Canada have pre-qualified so the highest finishing Commonwealth team will represent in Glasgow
•        CACSO games – the top 5 finishing teams, not including Canada and the USA, will qualify (assuming Mexico is in the top 5 as they pre-qualify as the host country)
•        HSBC World Sevens Series Hong Kong – Top two teams (other than Canada or the USA as they are current WSS core teams) qualify
There is everything to play for in the SteppingStones NACRA Sevens tournament for all of the teams.

The two day tournament is being held at Truman Bodden and will feature twelve hours of rugby sevens action each day, with refreshments available throughout the day. Tickets are CI$25 for the weekend, pre booked through the Cayman Rugby website www.caymanrugby.com or from the Cayman Rugby Club office. Corporate hospitality has been eagerly booked by several sponsors including SteppingStones, the title sponsor, LIME as a preferred sponsor, Security Center, CIOC and Chris Johnson associates. DJ XS will be providing music and entertainment along with game day commentator James Bebarfald. Rugby seven’s tournaments around the world have become festivals of sport, music, dancing and entertainment with the spectators dressing up in fancy costume. The SteppingStones NACRA Sevens will be no exception falling on the first weekend of Pirates week, spectators are encouraged to dress appropriately and spot prizes will be given out through the two days to those in the best costumes.

Cayman Rugby Union CEO Richard ‘Grizz’ Adams is delighted with the way the tournament is coming together both logistically and in terms of the Cayman teams preparations, “This is a big tournament for the Cayman Rugby Union as well as the Cayman Islands. Rugby focus across North America, Mexico and the Caribbean will be turned here for twenty four hours as we stream each game live through our www.caymanrugby.com site we are expecting very large numbers of both local support but also on line spectators so it’s a great opportunity to market the Islands and sport here in general. There will be strong representation from the International Rugby Board through Tom Jones the Regional General Manager for the NACRA region as he hosts several presidents of Olympic Committees from around the region to show them firsthand what Rugby sevens is and how well Cayman can host events of this magnitude.”

Grizz continues, “in terms of Cayman’s preparations the tournament has drawn lots of new local girls into the program, which bodes well for the future of the women’s game here. The women will be up against some very tough competition with Canada and USA ranked 2nd and 3rd in the world respectively and teams like Trinidad, Jamaica and Guyana having very strong programs. Cayman will be aiming for a top 6 finish and the chance to qualify to play in Trinidad in December, as well as the CASCO games in 2014 in Mexico. The Cayman’s men’s team is looking stronger than ever before. Sponsored this year by ESSO and with Dave Clancy having been employed through a Commonwealth Games grant to deliver Strength and Conditioning programs, the guys are in great shape. Morgan Williams, the former Canadian Sevens and Fifteens captain, Sevens coach and professional player in France and Wales remains as the technical director of the Sevens program and will be back in Cayman for a 7 day camp leading up to the tournament, as well as the tournament itself. We have set the High Performance platform for the guys this year and they have responded well. The time to see what we have achieved will be evident at the SteppingStones NACRA Sevens tournament and then if all goes to plan, throughout the 2014 season. We have committed to the Olympic Games 2016 and 2020 and preparing teams to qualify. This is our first step and we must do well in November.”

The men’s and women’s national teams continue their preparations over the next four weekends as they participate in the Summer Sevens Series at the Cayman Rugby pitch each Saturday. Six men’s and 3 women’s teams will play round robin each week and the coaches and selectors will get a chance to look at all of the players in contention under the microscope. Both squads continue training over the next four weeks.

Visit www.caymanrugby.com or www.facebook.com/CRFUNACRA and stay up to all with all the action of the SteppingStones NACRA Rugby Seven’s tournament.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Lets go CAYMAN!!