Cumbers looking for signs of improvement
The Bermuda women's rugby sevens team are looking to challenge for a top-four finish at the Rugby Americas North tournament in Mexico City this weekend.
Bermuda must place in the top four out of seven teams to qualify for the Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, Colombia, in the summer.
Coach Rich Cumbers's side will play six matches in two days in a round-robin format against Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, French Guiana and Guyana.
Bermuda have been competing in the tournament for the past five years and Cumbers is looking for tangible signs of improvement.
“Our participation in RAN last year gave us some lessons to build on,” said Cumbers, whose side finished second from bottom last year.
“Since then we have been training with the guys from Atavus Rugby [Serevi Rugby], as well as doing more work on our strength and conditioning. This has helped to show us where we can improve and be more competitive.”
Cumbers will be hoping Emily Sinclair, of Teachers — the Bermuda Rugby Football Union Player of the Year — will continue her good form at the tournament.
Sinclair will join several players who helped Bermuda to finish third at the Boston 7s in July, the largest women's sevens competition in the United States.
The 12-woman squad also includes Lysmeiri Santana, Emily Sinclair and Cerise Woodley, who represented the island's under-18 side at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Nassau, Bahamas, in July.
“The women's contact team has been established for about five years now and during that time the team has grown from strength to strength,” said Cumbers, who has brought forward his decision to retire from international rugby, having initially planned to quit after the men's tournament in Mexico City.
The winners of the tournament will qualify for the prestigious Hong Kong Sevens and the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, in April.
All matches will be streamed live on RAN's YouTube channel.