Log In

Reset Password

Bermuda rugby teams go in search of qualification for major events

Welcome addition: Tashun DeSilva has been called up to the Bermuda squad for the Rugby Americas North Super Sevens tournament in Mexico (Photograph courtesy of Bermuda Rugby)

Jamie Barnwell says his Bermuda side are relishing the opportunity to qualify for a host of major international events with a strong showing in the Rugby Americas North Super Sevens tournament.

Bermuda are one of 11 teams, split across three pools, vying for not only glory in Mexico City but automatic qualification for the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series, the Pan American Games, and Central American and Caribbean Games.

While Barnwell, whose side have been placed in pool C alongside Barbados, Belize and Dominican Republic, is well aware of the task in hand to reach the semi-finals and be guaranteed a place at the Central American and Caribbean Games in El Salvador next year and has not ruled out Bermuda upsetting the odds.

“The winner actually goes through to play in the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series, which is obviously pretty amazing,” said the head coach ahead off their opening match against Dominican Republic on Friday. “The top two also qualify for the Pan American Games, but that would mean making the final which is something we are still yet to do.

“However, the top four teams go through to the Central American and Caribbean Games, which is something we would certainly love to be able to achieve and would be a goal for us.

“Any team that can get past the quarter-finals from our group would have achieved something looking at our side of the draw.

“If we do top the group it is looking like a potential clash with Trinidad & Tobago and if we were to finish second then it could be Cayman Islands given the likes of the World Series Circuit teams like Mexico and Jamaica are most likely to top their pools.

“For us the first aim is to get out of the group stage [as one of top eight teams]. We have a tough one with Barbados, our old rivals, a bit of an unknown in Dominican Republic and then Belize but we are all excited for the challenge.”

After missing out on qualification for the Rugby World Cup Sevens and the Commonwealth Games after finishing fourth at the Rugby Americas North Sevens Qualifiers in Nassau in April, Barnwell admitted crucial lessons were learned.

That includes a possible change in approach against the more established teams such as Mexico and Jamaica with Bermuda having lost to both last time out, including a 21-5 defeat to the former in the third and fourth-place decider.

“There are some areas in which we are not going to be able to compete with some of the bigger teams that have played on the World Series circuit, so we have to be really clever, be on the same page and play an attacking game and create a bit of chaos out there,” added Barnwell.

“The game plan has evolved from what we had before and I feel that we are getting better every day, so let’s see what happens.”

Part of the evolution will come in the form of added firepower from forwards Aldo Campbell and Tashun DeSilva, who join a mostly familiar squad albeit with the notable absence of the highly influential and vastly experienced Tom Healy.

“The wonderful news is that the vast majority of the squad are fairly similar so that’s great in terms of working on our game plan,” Barnwell said.

“Unfortunately, we’ve lost Tom Healy but we have managed to add Aldo Campbell and Tashun DeSilva who have not been with us before. That means we have a bit of extra bulk, which we were lacking last time and gives us a different dynamism to our attack.

“We have a few different options in attack and can switch to a different way of playing against varying opposition which is quite exciting.”

Bermuda’s women are also in action at the tournament as one of six teams alongside Mexico, St Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, facing off in round-robin format over two days starting on Saturday.

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published November 10, 2022 at 9:31 am (Updated November 10, 2022 at 9:31 am)

Bermuda rugby teams go in search of qualification for major events

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon