Wilson steps up and joins Elite

Local rugby player Michael Wilson whose family hails from Cayman Brac has made a historic step in Cayman rugby history. Two weeks ago Wilson became the first Caymanian to play for the Elite rugby squads of Loughborough University in England.

Wilson, 20, who is a graduate of the Maples Sevens Academy and Greenlight RE school programme here, represented Loughborough V Birmingham in the British Universities & College Sports Midlands conference Men’s 1A division where Loughborough 3 currently sit fourth in the division.

Loughborough University is considered worldwide to be one of the best rugby-playing universities with a proud tradition which include wins against the England Under-20 in recent times. Three Loughborough players represented England U20 recently.

The Loughborough Elite squad comprises some 80 players who are split into Loughborough 1st, 2nd and 3rd XVs and then the development squad. Wilson played in the development squad earlier this month and was immediately promoted to the 3rd XV side. As a first year student from a relatively unknown rugby nation in the Cayman Islands, he has really surpassed expectations.

Director of rugby Richard ‘Grizz’ Adams is delighted. He said: “I met with Allan Buzza from Loughborough three years ago with a mind to getting some of our talented players into the university and the rugby programme.

“Of course Allan was fairly sceptical that we had players of a high enough calibre but to his credit he opened the door last year and we sent Mike Wilson and Ed Westin.

“While both did well in the trials neither made the full side and Ed remains on the injured list to date after a knee ligament tear. Mike moved to Leicester Lions and played well enough to be spotted when Leicester Lions defeated Loughborough a month ago.

“From there he seems to be moving in the right direction. Of course he is no stranger to the big time having won two Under-19 Caribbean Championships with Cayman and he also played with the Cayman Under-20 in Kenya at the Junior world Championship when Cayman finished 24th in the world.

“Mike has three more years at Loughborough and if he is making these type of strides now he will have every chance of landing himself a top class professional contract at National Division 1 or even in the Premiership.”

Wilson is one of almost 40 players that the Cayman Rugby Federation Union has helped to get into rugby-playing universities worldwide over the past two years.

“The number is growing each year and the union is currently in negotiations with a professional Division 1 club in England to supply the club with up and coming youngsters who prove their worth in Cayman in rugby and education.”