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Healy confident extra fitness work will pay off

The Bermuda sevens team are working on their strength and conditioning

The Bermuda Sevens team have been stepping up their fitness work in an attempt to make a big impression at the Rugby Americas North Sevens tournament in Mexico City next month,

“We have been training since August, focusing on strength and conditioning in Beast gym,” Tom Healy, the Bermuda Sevens coach, explained. “We’ve got Dave Wolffe, who’s helping us with our fitness. We do that twice a week, so that’s four months of strength and conditioning. We’ve now started on-the-field training, where we’re focusing on skills.

“We’re starting the season a little bit differently — we haven’t focused on strength and conditioning before, this is new for us and we’re behind the eight-ball a little bit, but we have a bunch of new guys in who have been taught how to lift weights appropriately.

“It’s really proving successful so far. And all this has been possible on the back of our domestic sevens tournament, the Ariel Re Sevens, back in March.

“The funds that we’ve earned out of that have facilitated investment back into the team. So without Ariel Re and tourism, none of this would be possible.”

Healy also explained how Bermuda Rugby is aligning their season with the international calendar.

“We’re trying to align the domestic season with the international season; where sevens is played in November, typically, and XVs is played in May and June,” he said.

“So we have delayed the start of the season so that we can focus on sevens at the very beginning and the season will continue that bit longer into April, which aligns itself with international games.”

Healy was also part of the victorious Renegades team, whose men’s and women’s sides both triumphed at the Mad Hatters’ tournament at the North Field last weekend in preparation for their regular season title defences.

“We’re really pleased,” Healy said with the men’s side’s victory. “We’re building on our tour to Colombia, where we had two games and were successful in those two. Today was the first game back for everyone. It’s just shaking off the cobwebs. Hopefully that will tee us up for the season.

“There were a few new faces in the team and this tournament, for all the teams, is about getting the new guys involved, so I think it was successful for everyone, irrespective of what the scoreline says.”

There is more rugby action on the North Field this Saturday, when the Celts, Antipodeans, Onions and Limeys take on each other, irrespective of clubs, starting at noon.