Mariners Withdraw From BRFU Men’s League

January 4, 2023 | 2 Comments

Mariners Men have withdrawn from this year’s men’s rugby league competition due to “a lack of sustainable men’s player pool.”

BRFU President Sean Field confirmed the withdrawal from the league, saying, “I can sadly confirm that Mariners Men’s team has withdrawn from this year’s men’s league competition due to a lack of sustainable men’s player pool.

“The men’s league will continue with a three club format. The Mariners Ladies rugby team will still be competing in the Women’s Touch Rugby League.

“This is a truly unfortunate development for local rugby. The BRFU is hopeful that Mariners Men’s can return to domestic rugby as soon as possible and a goal of four men’s club teams for the season-ending Nichol Shield is achievable.

“The BRFU is very sympathetic to the circumstances that have led to this decision and is hopeful with the support of the rugby community we can find a sustainable solution. There is a need of more players in addition to volunteers to assist with governance and logistical assistance. They are a proud club and this is devastating for their core players and alumni. I have deep empathy for what they are currently enduring.

“Like all other NSGBs, rugby has experienced some extreme hardships with the lingering impact of COVID after a prolonged absence from sporting activities. We have seen athletes either retire or move on to other sports.

“The heartbreaking development is the impact on volunteerism that is essential to keep amateur sports alive. Hopefully, we can weather this rough patch and help the Mariners Men’s section bounce back. If they are people willing to assist please contact me directly.

“Mariners have been part of the rugby community all of my 38 years of involvement; it is a big blow but I am resolute that a sustainable solution will be found.

“Certainly this a blow but there are really positive things happening elsewhere in Bermuda rugby; our Sunday Rugby Youth Programs are up and running with over 150 kids involved at NSC from 10-12 every Sunday and we welcome everyone.

The Ladies Touch League is strong and we are developing a tackle program to complement the Women’s Nation team. Congrats to coach Alvin Harvey on his MBE!

“We go a long way back under 19 & 21 national teams. I was his vice-captain on the national teams when he captained us to several Caribbean championships. We now support the referees’ society together. In my early 10-year tenure as BRFU President, I could always count on Alvin’s support. He has been an inspirational role model for so many young Bermudans and an incredible ambassador for our country; it’s wonderful that he has received this recognition.

“The BRFU will be running upcoming coaching and referee course which are available to all interested persons.

“The BRFU is really excited and looking forward to reigniting the high school competitions and seeing rugby return to the public school sports curriculum after a prolong COVID-induced hiatus.

“The Men’s National 15s team is reigning Caribbean champions and recently defeated a very strong Gibraltar squad with a young squad. Our National Men’s 7s team continues to consistently perform at the highest levels regionally. So there are a lot of positives – the best is that rugby is a fantastic sport with strong worthy core values and a positive sportsmanship culture.

“As stated, the BRFU and I are resolute in resolving the Mariners Men’s situation and returning to the four club men’s league format as soon as possible. This may mean some changes amongst player development and deployment from the traditional paths but I am sure the local rugby community will embrace what’s best for the sport.”

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Comments (2)

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  1. Reg says:

    Its a great shame, but if we are looking to the younger generation, rugby has dragged its heels post covid.

    Football and cricket have been largely back to normal for a very long while, but aside from the scrum’s close contact, I don’t see why rugby hasn’t too. Global rugby has been back to normal for over a year.

    Part of the issue here is that schools haven’t adopted rugby like other sports, despite the BRFU basically doing most of the work for them. You can’t force it I guess.

  2. trufth says:

    People are quietly leaving the island in droves. More of this to come.

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