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Under-19s prepare for Caribbean title challenge

Bermuda Under-19 national team coach Donal Moynihan is hoping his team can reclaim the North American Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) Championship title the Island won three years ago.

Moynihan and his 22-strong squad head to Trinidad on Thursday where they have been grouped with defending champions Cayman Islands and Jamaica in Pool A.

The winner of the group will face the top team from Pool B which includes hosts Trinidad, Mexico and Barbados.

Bermuda Under-19s won the competition in 2010 when they defeated Trinidad 18-15, and Moynihan, who is coaching the side for the first time, believes his current crop are capable of repeating that success.

“Three years ago we won the tournament so we have some level of expectation,” said Moynihan, who succeeds James Adderley as the Under-19 coach.

“I think if we can beat Cayman, the defending champions, we will be in a strong position. We won one game and lost two last year so we’re hoping to do a little bit better this time around.”

Although Moynihan’s squad is “very young” and relatively inexperienced at the Under-19 level, it does includes full internationals Trae Stevens and Pernell Brangman. “It’s my first time with this team,” said Moynihan, who previously worked in the Beyond Rugby Programme, helping “at risk” children both on and off the pitch.

“Of the 22 players 19 are Bermuda based and three are at school overseas. It’s a very young squad we have at the moment although two of our players, Pernell Brangman and Trae Stevens, have recently got international caps with the senior team which was a great experience for them. I think the Pernell is one of the youngest players to win a Bermuda cap.”

The Under-19 side took part in a coaching clinic led by Rugby Sevens’ Fijian legend Waisale Serevi at the National Sports Centre last weekend in preparation for the Championship. They take on Jamaica in their opening game of the Championship on Saturday.

Due to a record number of teams entering the Championship, the regional competition has been split into two divisions.

The top tier teams, including Bermuda, will compete for the NACRA Cup while the more up and coming nations will vie for the NACRA Trophy. Among the newcomers competing for the Trophy will be St Lucia and Turks and Caicos. It is envisaged that with similar numbers competing in future years, that there will be regular promotion and relegation between the two competitions.

Bermuda Under-19s squad: Aldon Campbell, Avery Williams, Chakote Wainwright Basden, Charles Collis, Daniel Pell, Gianni Nesbeth, Jeremiah Monk, Joshua Deallie, Keyanho Bean, Matthew Thompson, Ndavyah Williams, Nicholas Pell, Nikye Atherden, Pernell Brangman, Rory Dublin, Ru-Jzarr Simmons, Sidney Mello, Simeon Edwards, Simon Thompson, Stephen Edwards, Trae Stevens, Tyler Simons

ScheduleSaturday, July 6 Jamaica

Wednesday, July 10 Cayman

Saturday, July 13 TBD

Bermuda Under-19 players Nick Pell (bottom left) and Keyanho Bean work on their scrummaging while head coach Donal Moynihan (top left) and Serevi Rugby coach Justin Fitzpatrick (right) critique their form at Police Field at the weekend. Pernell Brangman and Ndavyah Williams (centre) look on. The Under-19s travel to Trinidad on Thursday for the Caribbean Championship.

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Published July 04, 2013 at 9:14 am (Updated July 04, 2013 at 9:13 am)

Under-19s prepare for Caribbean title challenge

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