Guyana’s Senior National men’s rugby team, the ‘Green Machine’, is ready to end their losing spell with a victory at the RAN sevens later this month.
The ‘Green Machine’, Guyana’s senior national rugby team, are set to depart on April 18th for the Rugby Americas North (RAN) Sevens in the Bahamas.
The tournament, which was initially slated for February, will now be held from April 23-24 in The Bahamas.
The Director of Sport, Steve Ninvalle presented the squad with a cheque of $2M earlier today to offset expenses to compete.
Ninvalle said: “The National Sports Commission, over the past year, has been rendering assistance to sports disciplines more than any other time in the history of this commission”
“We are happy we can do that. We see it necessary and appropriate that we lend our hand. Not only to assist when it comes to overseas engagements, but to assist in preparations so when you get to these overseas engagements you’ll be representing Guyana proudly. And, you’ll be returning with medals, and with honours.”
Guyana once dominated the competition, racking up seven titles and now seeking an eight. The National Men’s Rugby Sevens team was last victorious at the RAN level in 2016.
Ryan Dey, President of the Guyana Rugby Football Union is confident that the team will bring home gold.
“This cheque will help us to go a far way. I think our team is about set to bring home back to Guyana. It's been years now since we haven’t been at the top with rugby and it’s something I’m sure I and most of Guyana would like to see again,” the GRFU President posited.
Dey also added that the team still needs to raise approximately $3M to compete in the tournament.
He is hoping that corporate sponsors step in to assist with this.
Theodore Henry, the Head Coach of Guyana's senior men's rugby team, said that the initial postponement of the tournament was a blessing in disguise for the team as it gave them much needed time to prepare for the event.
Henry said: “A lot of work is being done right now on tactics and confidence building. Because I thought the last tournament we played in, we had a lot of relatively green players on that team. Most of the old stalwarts would have retired recently and we’re now in a rebuilding stage.”
“But, with a year now under their belt and a lot of tournaments being played over the past few months – the guys have been steadily improving, and I’m very confident in the outfit we’re about to put out on the field.”
This tournament serves as a qualifier for the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa, in September, as well as this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, in July.