New season stirs Olympic hope

The women’s national rugby 7s team has trained hard for the new season which commences this Saturday.

The addition of new coach Henry Warnock-Smith and strength and conditioning coach Dave Clancy has seen the women raise their fitness levels to new heights after intensive training.

Players from last season’s games will include Marline Wiliams, Cassianne Lawrence, Jenna Richards, Shanel Gall, Tracey Seymour, Caroline Deegan and the indomitable Lisa Kehoe.

National captain Jodie McTaggart is now living in San Francisco, but is on the San Francisco Golden Gate team, a very strong team. She is returning to Cayman for the Halloween 7s and to prepare for the Central American and Caribbean Games.

The Cayman women’s team is seen as rugby’s flagship program as tournaments approach both domestically and abroad.

The Elite Marble & Granite Women’s 7s domestic league is first, featuring the spring league champions OMNI Sharks, the Kirk Freeport All Diamonds and the John Doak Architecture Lady Iguanas.

Then it is the Halloween Women’s 7s International Invitational at Truman Bodden, which will see Cayman’s best test themselves against international competition from the U.S. and Europe.

All of this is building up to the two major competitions of the year; the CAC Games in Vera Cruz, Mexico followed by the NACRA 7s championships in Mexico City.

Next year starts with a trip to the Las Vegas International Invitational, one of the highest level of competitions outside of the World Series.

The Vegas tournament will kick off preparations for the ultimate goal, the Olympic Qualifiers in the U.S. in June.

The future looks incredibly bright for Cayman women’s rugby, both through the progress being made in training and the influx of new faces crossing over from other sports, particularly football, flag, netball, track, boxing and basketball.

Many of them already have the core skills required to be a rugby player and along with athletic ability and some additional coaching have taken to their new sport exceptionally well.

Organizers are encouraging anyone who is interested in taking rugby up should go to training on Monday and Wednesday nights at Cayman Rugby Club in South Sound from 5.30 p.m.

There will be a rugby boot camp on Sunday Oct. 12 where the coaches and players will be introducing new players to the game’s basics and recruiting players for the domestic league and potentially the national team for years to come.