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High hopes for rugby team

Coach: Ladies have good chance of doing well at World Cup Qualifiers

Their efforts may not be as highly publicized as their male counterparts, but the national ladies rugby team is looking to take the world by storm at the upcoming Rugby Sevens World Cup Qualifier.

That is according to the team’s manager Romeo Mayers, who believes that once the team addresses its fitness issues, they will be a force to be reckoned with at the NACRA Sevens Rugby competition scheduled to be held in North Carolina, USA, from June 13 to 14.

The event will serve as the regional qualification tournament for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

In an interview with Barbados TODAY this evening, just hours after the team returned to the island from a tour of Trinidad and Tobago, Mayers said he expects the ladies to give a good account of themselves.

The Barbados women's national rugby side during their recent tour of Trinidad and Tobago.

The Barbados women’s national rugby side during their recent tour of Trinidad and Tobago.

“I know they will be playing against professional rugby players, but I still think they have a good chance of doing well at the World Cup Qualifiers.

“During the recent tour of Trinidad, we realized one of the team’s weaknesses was their fitness. Once this issue is addressed, and as long as they stick to their training, I expect them to do very well,” Mayers, who is also the team’s coach explained.

He said along with head coach, Kenneth Payne, they had already implemented a new training program, as well as a new diet to assist with improving their fitness.

“We have put them on an entirely different program to help them improve their fitness,” Mayers noted.

“We’ve now included some more gym work, a new diet…basically the whole works.

“Once they stick to this routine there should be a vast improvement from their performance on the tour to Trinidad for sure,” he added.

During that competition, which he said served as a warmup for the World Cup Qualifiers, they won one game, lost another, while their third match finished in a tie.

In that 29-5 loss to Trinidad, Mayers insisted that once again it was a lack of fitness, which contributed to their downfall.

“The Trinidadians were basically just fitter than we were. That is where we fell down.”

The national team rebounded to defeat a Southeast ladies team 48-0, before closing out the tour with a 12-12 tie against a Police ladies outfit.

Despite winning just one game, Mayers said the team, which boasted of three newcomers, gained a lot of valuable experience.

“We had three girls who were competing in their very first overseas competition, so in that aspect, they were able to get some much needed exposure.

“When they play in the World Cup Qualifiers they will be coming against professional players, so it is important they get as much experience and exposure as they possibly can,” Mayers disclosed.

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