Cayman storms Carolina

The warm up season for the
Maples Cayman national sevens Academy players continued smoothly last weekend
when Director of Rugby Richard Adams selected eleven players to travel to
Charleston, South Carolina to compete in the eighth annual Charleston Memorial
day sevens. Cayman did exceptionally well beating the Manhoosers side 38-0, the
Charleston side 28-0, NCU university 19-5, Legion 19-12 and Charlotte Super
League team Gents 24-21 to win the tournament.

The players are in
preparations for the Central American and Caribbean games as well as the North
American and Caribbean Regional Association Regional and Pan Am qualifiers
games. Both tournaments take place in Guyana between July 24-31 and the LIME
National Cayman seven will be aiming to do well in both tournaments.

Director of Rugby Richard
Adams has to get the selection right for both tournaments and the criteria for
players is quite different Adams explains.

“For any tournament that is
IOC sanctioned all of the players have to hold Cayman passports or have status,
the CAC games are such a tournament. For International Rugby Board events such
as the PAN Am qualifiers players have to have been legally resident in the
country they represent for three years even though if we qualify the players
that represent Cayman at the Pan Am games in 2011 will have to be IOC
qualified. What this means in short, is that we are working hard to develop the
best possible Caymanian team by using where appropriate a few select players
who meet IRB qualification but not IOC. Over the next couple of years we for
see that the team will grow to a point where we can field excellent sides in
either.”

As part of this process
Adams selected nine Caymanians for Charleston and two non-IOC players.

“My hand was forced somewhat
by injury and availability,” Adams said. “Mike Wilson and Robbie Cribb my two
Caymanian scrum halves are both out with injuries, Joel Clark has exams until
June and was not available. I made the decision to take Rhon Royer and Venasio
Tokatokavanua who coaches many of these guys. In the end I am very happy with
the result and we all learned a lot about ourselves and what this team is
capable of in the future.

“I chose Charleston for our
warm up tournament as we had not travelled there before and while sixteen teams
compete annually it is still a small field of sides compared to many modern day
tournaments. It is also concluded in one day which allowed us the Sunday for
team work all together. Now we spend the next six weeks putting all that we
have learned about ourselves into our training sessions. We also have USA
national sevens coach Al Caravelli due here this month and Canadian national
sevens coach Morgan Williams due next month. Essentially two of the world’s
leading sevens coaches are coming to help us. The CIOC has assisted and backed
these plans and assisted financially to help the side develop for the big July
tournaments.” 

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