Haines: Cayman is the location of choice now

Derek Haines, president of the Cayman Islands Rugby Federation, felt like the proudest man at the club.

‘This has been a fantastic tournament,’ he said. ‘I’m proud, obviously, because of the wonderful achievements of our boys in retaining the championship for a second year against really, really good competition. I’m also really proud that we’ve produced such a good competition in the Cayman Islands.

Haines

Haines enjoys victory with Cayman captain Daniel McGrath. Photo: Ron Shillingford

‘This has become the location of choice for teams in the region and I’m thankful to everybody that took part; our volunteers, our medical staff and our coaches who have produced such a wonderful team.

‘A lot of hard work has gone into producing the ground. I’m also appreciative of our neighbours who have been very supportive. They’re understood what’s going on. It’s a plus, plus all round for Cayman.

‘I’m so proud of our lads. It’s only a 26-member squad and 23 are going on to universities this year. We’re producing good citizens not just good rugby players and that’s so vital to the Cayman Islands, particularly considering what’s been happening here in the last couple of weeks.

‘My son Chris is in Australia and he was texting to see how we were getting on. He was captain here for two years. People all over the world are following what we’re doing.

‘What’s going to come out of this is that we’ll have a great senior national team in the future.

‘There are players like Stephen Chin who is only 17 and still has a couple of years left in this competition. You don’t find these lads doing silly things, it’s all about good citizenship.

Credit to Grizz, Steve Clarke and Graeme Thompson for their coaching skills. We did so well against Mexico, closing them down. Their captain, the No.15 had a fantastic game and their No.10 so we closed him down.

‘Mexico beat Trinidad who are not a meagre team. So the Mexicans are a powerhouse and we took them on and beat them.’

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