Champs will try to keep title here

The Cayman Islands women’s rugby squas made history by winning the Caribbean Championships for the first time last year. This week the North American Caribbean Rugby Association announced that this year’s tournament will be held here in July, giving the ladies the opportunity to defend their hard fought title on home ground.

This will be the first major women’s rugby tournament held in the Cayman Islands and the announcement was greeted with enthusiasm by members of the squad who, until now, have had to play all their international fixtures abroad.

“It will be so exciting for the women to be able to play in front of a home crowd made up of family, friends and well wishers” said player/coach Caroline Deegan. “Some of the women have represented Cayman in five or six international competitions over the past few years, but never at home.”

It is anticipated that experienced rugby nations Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana as well as newer competitors such as the Bahamas and Barbados will each send their best squads to challenge the Cayman ladies, so it is vital that the girls now take their personal fitness up a few notches as well as training hard as a squad over the next few months.

Captain Jo Woods is delighted that having the tournament here in Cayman means that the squad can pick from the biggest possible pool of players as, in the past, some of the players have been unable to travel due to work or family commitments.

“We’re looking forward to being able to draw on the experience of some of our players who have represented Cayman at rugby before as well as continuing to develop some of the new talent who are still quite new to the sport.”

And with five months to prepare, there is still the possibility for new players to make their mark on the squad. “We always wish to welcome new girls to the exciting sport of contact rugby,” said Deegan.

“Any women over 18 who are prepared to work hard, and test their fitness, strength and ball handling skills, are very welcome to come and try out our training sessions. It’s a fun, physical sport to play, and a privilege for the girls to have the opportunity to represent Cayman on home turf later this year.”

Contact coach Deegan on [email protected] for more details.