By Jonteau Coppin
Rugby Americas North Committee member George Nicholson has stated that there are tentative plans to host the Rugby 7s competition in Barbados on December 3 and 4 this year.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY during a phone interview, Nicholson explained that talks were ongoing but stressed that any plan was very much open to change.
“We do have quite a bit of interest from teams in the US (United States of America), UK (United Kingdom) and Canada because they’ve not been able to participate in events for some period due to the pandemic. We will be working with our partners, AGMI, BHTA and the Government health officials to fully assess the feasibility. It is a moving target obviously with the different variants, more flights coming into Barbados. If something changes between now and December it will be something to consider. There are other events planned around that time, but it is all dependent on being given the green light by the Ministry of Health,” he said.
Nicholson also highlighted The Rugby Americas North 7s, which are due to take place on October 16 and 17 in Turks and Caicos, as a competition which could be used to give exposure to local rugby players.
Despite the lack of activity, vice-president of the Barbados Rugby Football Union (BRFU) Kevyn Murrell noted that local rugby was in a good place. But he added that the focus now for the Union was to increase the number of male and female teams.
“We do have some players who have the potential to go a lot further but it is a matter of developing it so they can be successful and developing more talent at a younger age so that when they progress into the senior programme, they are ready to go.”
There has also been some attention given to improving the standard of rugby in Barbados. Murrell stated: “We need to make sure we have regular competition at a higher standard. Yes, locally it is of a good standard but when we step up to that regional and international level, it is a lot more competitive, and those teams have bigger programmes than we do. Our focus is on developing our programme so that when it is time for coaching to begin, we are good to go. We are also developing our coaches through the regional federation.”
The Get Into Rugby Barbados Programme is still scheduled to start in September this year.