by Rawle Toney
Guyana’s National Men’s 15’s Rugby squad arrived on Thursday morning in the Twin Island Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, where they will face the hosts on Saturday for the North American & Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) Southern Championship.
The game which is set for 3pm at the University of the West Indies (UWI) ground, according to team Coach Theodore Henry will be taken as a matter of a life and death situation by the Guyanese as they attempt to maintain their strong hold on the sport in the Caribbean.
Speaking with News Source at the Halyconia Hotel in St Ann’s, Henry disclosed that the team of 24 which has to be broken down to 22, has no injuries and the players are all anxious to take the field against one of their arch rivals in the game.
“Every time we have to face Trinidad its always in must win position or something similar” Henry said, speaking on the fact that the winner of Saturday’s clash will not only win the NACRA South title, but would go on to face USA South for the over-all trophy.
Guyana came from behind to beat Barbados at the National Stadium Providence; a win which earned them their trip Trinidad but Henry said that while his squad is an experienced one, they cannot afford to have a repeat of their game against the ‘Bajans’.
“Not against Trinidad; we can’t let them build a big league on us at all because they are a very good team. They have plenty professionals that are familiar with our style but I’m confident that we can and will pull this off” said the Guyanese Coach.
While Henry have to focus on putting together a proper strategy that will help his side over power the Trinidadians, off the field he also has to deal with selecting 22 of 24 players, all of whom are worthy of being in uniform.
“We have immense talent on this squad, that is the reason why we had to bring 24 players but we’ll have to shake it down. We have five players who are making their debut in the team, so it’s a mixture of youth and some of the old guys who have all been around” Henry disclosed to News Source.
He further disclosed that “on the side note, we have the likes of Claudius Butts, captain Ryan Gonsalves, Richard Staglon, Ronald Meyers and Dellon Downer, all of whom play right here Trinidad. These guys are probably the best in the Caribbean in their respective positions”.
Trinidad’s Coach Larry Mendez in an invited comment said that he is “tired of the Guyanese and the position the two countries are always in to clash”.
The team would like to see Guyanese residing in Trinidad come out and support them which will boost the team’s moral on the field.