Barbados has selected its team for the 2016 Olympic and Hong Kong qualifier in Cary, North Carolina, USA, June 13/14, which is being staged by the North America and Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA). The team has been training over the past two months at the Garrison Savannah where it has been playing games against local opposition in addition to following a rigorous strength and fitness programme in the Breakout Gym at the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium complex.
The locally based players will be joined by four UK-based players who have recently competed in Rugby Sevens tournaments in the UK and who have all competed for Barbados in the past. The team will depart Barbados and the UK for Cary on June 8th, for pre-tournament preparations and acclimatization in advance of the tournament.
Also participating in the Olympic Qualifying tournament are two tremendous in-form teams in Canada and the USA who are well prepared, having just finished the 2014-2015 World Rugby Sevens World Series as two of the top ten teams in the World.
“The Caribbean sides and Mexico will be bringing in their best players so this should be a good test of where we lie in the region.” said Whipple. “As it is an Olympic event, this tournament requires all of our players to be Barbadian passport holders so this has taken a few of our UK-based players out of consideration for selection. This affects our depth somewhat, but we are still putting out a very competitive side. I am interested to see how we play on this stage.”