They’ll try to be region’s best

The Cayman Islands Women’s Rugby programme is about to embark on another tough tour.

The national team will compete at the Caribbean Championships in Barbados June 21-27 and have high expectations.

The selection panel included coaches Neil Ackerman, Jason Scarff, Phillip Fourie and captain Rowena Lawrence.

‘The honour of representing the Cayman Islands in international play is something that is very special to each player,’ said Lawrence.

‘The players have all worked so hard to get them to this standard with some gruelling training sessions and overall commitment to fitness. Each player should be proud of what they have achieved.’

The team is currently training four days a week at the rugby club in South Sound before opening the tournament when they compete against Jamaica on June 21.

‘This match is very important to our squad,’ said coach Ackerman. ‘We have yet to compete against Jamaica this year and we can wait no longer to prove we will be competitive in this year’s Caribbean Championships. We had a close loss to them last year in the championships and with the current squad, we have every chance of winning.’

Coach Scarff said: ‘The girls have started training harder with more emphasis on our game play, they are being put through the paces and its building up steadily. We should be full steam ahead in the next couple of weeks and will then stand a great chance at the champs.’

Lawrence reiterated the importance of the match for the Cayman side.

‘The Jamaica match is an excellent opportunity for us to set the pace for the week. We have made tremendous improvements since last year and we are prepared to demonstrate these improvements to our biggest rivals.’

The team currently boasts the strongest pack they have ever had and backs that have skill to rival any team in the Caribbean.

They are delighted to be taking new players Ann-Marie Douglas and Kadia-Ann Webb with experienced player Bernadette Beckles getting her first cap for Cayman.

The squad faces a gruelling tournament with four matches in seven days competing against Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, St Vincent & Grenadines and Barbados.

SQUAD: Anne Storie, Krista Pell, Cindy Blekatis, Sumari Naude, Caroline Deegan, Jane Robson, Jessica Lane, Joanne Zeiglar, Rowena Lawrence (capt), Lisa Kehoe, Karen Hart, Olive McDonagh, Cara Hennessey, Lisa Bird, Desiree Sampang, Annie Rankine, Bernadette Beckles, Emily Davies, Sherina Christie, Ann-Marie Douglas, Kadia-Ann Webb, Loletta Hanna, Sharon Whitmore.