Bermuda Rugby Team To Compete In Canada

August 16, 2023 | 0 Comments

[Written by Stephen Wright]

Jamie Barnwell, the Bermuda sevens coach, believes his side are capable of a top-three finish at the Rugby Americas North Sevens in Langford, British Columbia, Canada.

Starting on Saturday, the tournament is the regional qualifier for the Olympic Games in Paris next summer, with spots also available for the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series, and the World Rugby Final Olympic Repechage Tournament in Monaco, France.

Bermuda have been placed in a pool with the United States and Mexico, while Canada, Jamaica, Barbados, and St Vincent and the Grenadines are in the other. The top team will qualify for the Olympics.

Bermuda Sevens August 2023

“It will be super-competitive – the United States and Canada are both professional teams,” Barnwell told Bernews.

“The dream is to come third. Our development over the past year has been geared towards this competition.

“To finish third, we must do something we’ve never done before: beat Mexico and Jamaica in the same tournament.”

Bermuda will look to build upon their impressive showing at the Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador, El Salvador, in June, finishing sixth.

Barnwell believes his side can take plenty of encouragement from their narrow 17-14 defeat against Mexico at the Games.

“Mexico and Jamaica have a lot more resources than us, but we’re hanging on in there and have been challenging them,” said Barnwell, whose side came fourth in the previous Olympic qualifiers in the Cayman Islands in 2019, losing to Mexico in the third-place match.

“The team are on the right path, and I believe we can qualify for both these tournaments [the Challenger Series and Repechage Tournament].

“Collectively, as a group, that will be the outcome that fully satisfies us. We’re not going there just to take part.”

Included in the 13-man squad are Aiden Kendall and Malachi Paynter, both 18, who are yet to play for the senior side but were part of the under-19 team that won the bronze medal at the RAN Under-19 Tournament in Jamaica last month.

“There’s a lot to be said for talent and a lot to be said for graft,” Barnwell added. “Malachi has grafted his way into the squad and is developing nicely.”

Barnwell, whose side won the recent New England Rugby Football Union Sevens Tournament in Boston, added: “Most of this group have been in tournament settings before, and if you want to do well, you need that experience.

“You need to know what to do in key moments in the game and how to react.”

Bermuda squad

Alexander Brown, Tashon DeSilva [captain], Myles Dismont, Steven Doyling, Jahniko Francis, Michael Kelley, Tyler Kendall, Aiden Kendall, Malachi Paynter, Antonio Perinchief, Jakee Simmons, Hadleigh Tucker, Faizon Augustus

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