With the Hong Kong Sevens behind them, Cayman rugby players are gearing up for their next big game: Cayman Big Game 6.
The national men’s XV’s team will play Bahamas in Grand Cayman on May 21.
The game, part of the Rugby Americas North tournament, will be one of two home international games to be held in Grand Cayman this year, as it’s a Rugby World Cup qualification year.
On June 18, Grand Cayman will play Bermuda, before heading to Mexico City for an away game on July 2.
On Tuesday, the Cayman Rugby Union met to discuss details of the event and what else is in store for Cayman rugby.
Cayman Islands Rugby team Captain Chris Kennedy said that while in the past the team has “kind of lacked structure” their game plan has cleaned up this year.
“We’ve always had guys that have wanted to play but we’ve not had the professional setup in terms of coaching that we have this year,” Kennedy said. “Guys have time to sit down and really devise a game plan – I think that will make a big difference, whereas previously we’ve gone into games and just kind of thrown the ball around and not known exactly what we’re going to do.”
Head Coach Phil Pretorius, who has been working with the team since January said they have “tried to establish a band of brothers vibe amongst all the players,” and said the players have a “really strong bond.”
Pretorius said there is a very strong leadership core in the team, which includes many attorneys, accountants and CEOs.
“The players on island, these guys are working demanding hours … most of our players have young families, so I really appreciate the fact that they are still prepared to give us the prime time in the evenings.”
He said the team is playing six games leading up to the game against Bahamas, and performed well in the three played so far.
Pretorius said winning is “a lottery” and the focus should be on being competitive and well-prepared.
“We’re going to put our best foot forward,” Pretorius said. “I think the preparation is going really well, we’re really looking forward to it and we want to make all people proud.”
“Our first thing now is to be competitive in all games henceforth.”
Cayman Big Game 6 will be held at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex. The game has a 6 p.m. kickoff, but gates open at 3 p.m. The event will feature a live band and a “kicking competition.”
Tickets are on sale for Cayman Big Game 6 at www.caymanrugby.com. They are $15 online, $7 for kids, and $25 at the gate.