Police set for tough tests against the best
The Police rugby teams are preparing for a number of demanding matches when they compete in Bermuda’s oldest sporting event tomorrow.
The Duckett Memorial match, which has been played every January since Commissioner Duckett’s assassination in 1972, will this year feature men’s and women’s first and second teams, against teams made up of remaining players from the local league.
Among the Police men’s first team will be the pacey Nigel Burgess and Scott Clarke, who converted from athletics, on the wings, national team members Danny Pell and Darren Richardson, as well as Red Bull Youth America’s Cup sailor Owen Siese and the kicking prowess of Daniel Cole.
The relative youth of the Police will be faced with a depth of experience from longstanding international players such as Peter Dunkerly, Tom Healy, and Aldo Campbell as well as Corey Boyce and Jahniko Francis.
The men’s second team will be made up of experienced players such as Sean Field-Lament who has played the sport at all levels for over three decades and will play alongside his son Jake. They will be joined by former West Indies and Bermuda player Jonathon Cassidy.
Facing them will be a team filled Bermuda Under-19 players who have grown through the youth academy and Beyond Rugby Bermuda programme under the tutelage of coaches Patrick Callow and Dan Roberts.
The main threat will come from players such as Ja’kee Simons and George Peets, who will be supported by Bermuda Youth strongman Paulo Sousa, as well as the talented Shane Richards.
These dynamic youngsters will be joined by the next 15 best under-19 players and are a testament to the development and cultural reach of the sport in Bermuda.
Similar to the men’s format, the women will be playing two matches, fielding past and present players pitting the Blues against the best of the other clubs.
Police women’s first team will benefit from the return of Jo Godfrey, who will be joined by the likes of Kiera Smith, Etienne Coetzee, Laura Mulligan, Jessica Cassidy, Lauren Rothwell, Nya Heyliger, Mika Tomita, Jo Murray, Fiona Donaldson, Francesca Rawlinson and Olivia Smart.
Past Police Ladies captains Erica McArthur and Kerry Heigham will be bolstering the women’s second team, with another Faded Blue, Liz Copeland, joining them.
With over 17 years combined experience between them, all three have contributed greatly over the years to the women’s game y in Bermuda. Also making their debuts are local players Melissa Rodrigues and Jenna Burrows.
“This is the highlight of our season,” Peter Lewington, the Police head coach, said. “Statistically, we shouldn’t win when you look at the quality of all the opposition teams.
“However, the decades of results show that Police are dominate in this fixture, and this year we are planning to add more victories to that story.
“November marks the club’s 60th anniversary, and winning is the best way to start the year.”