Raw Rankine’s World Cup hopes

Cayman women’s rugby programme is coming on leaps and bounds and testimony to that is Avery-Ann Rankine.

She’s only been playing a couple of weeks yet has already impressed the coaches considerably. The Cayman Academy student is only 17. Better known as a footballer, the rugby coaches hope she finds a new sporting love.

‘I play football with the national team but they’re currently on break,’ said Rankine. ‘One of my friends invited me here for rugby and I really like it.

‘I like the contact and the rules are quite simple once you put it into action. Football is my first interest but if that doesn’t pay off then rugby will.’

Novice Rankine hopes to make the World Cup qualifiers sevens team in the Bahamas next month. She was in fine form playing sevens at the rugby club in South Sound on Saturday.

Rankine only watched her first TV match last Friday. So what did she think of it? ‘It’s quite, eh… barbaric – but fun,’ she laughs. Injuries, apparently, don’t worry her.

Coach Ray Rogers said: ‘Avery-Ann is a diamond in the rough. With a bit of experience to go with her talent she’ll be a really good player. She’s got speed and power. She’ll learn all the other stuff as she plays.

‘She’ll play 15s once the league starts in December. She’s eligible for the World Cup sevens qualifiers. We haven’t picked the final squad of 15 yet but we’re working on it.’

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