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A Rugby West Indies Select Team participating in the Trinidad & Tobago Enthusiasts International Invitational Sevens Tournament, 6th & 7th December, in preparation for Rugby West Indies participation in the iRB Sevens World Series Championship tournament in Hong Kong, 27 – 29th March 2009, successfully defending their tournament championship title for the third year in succession, handily defeating first time Finalist, Guadeloupe, 19-7, for the Cup.
The West Indies Team included four players from Guyana, three from Trinidad & Tobago, two from Cayman Islands and one each from Bahamas and St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
Sixteen Invitational teams contested the tournament, including teams from Guadeloupe, Martinique, USA, Trinidad & Tobago, British Virgin Islands, Barbados and the West Indies.
On day one of the tournament the West Indies opened their account defeating the Barbados men, 15-0, followed by a win over T&T Sevens Champions, Rainbow Club’s 2nd team, 24-0, before finally getting into their stride by putting away a Trinidad & Tobago Defence Force team, which included three former Guyana National players, 38-5.
On day two, the West Indies Team were grouped with T&T Sevens Champion Club Rainbow 1, Martinique and tournament defending champions, USA Atlantis. In their first game, confined to a narrow pitch, the West Indies Team, unable to play open rugby, were surprisingly out hustled by the Trinidad & Tobago Club Champions, 5-17, but came back to defeat Atlantis, 12-0, and Martinique, 42-0, to earn a place in the Semi-Finals against Trinidad & Tobago’s Caribs. The West Indies disposed of Caribs, 12-5.
In the final game of the day, the West Indies Team, now in full flow, handily defeated finalist Guadeloupe, 19-7.
A second West Indies Select Team which will include three Guyanese, two players from Trinidad & Tobago, two players from Bahamas and one each from St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Bermuda and Jamaica, will participate in the XX Edition of the Punta del Este International Sevens tournament hosted by the British Schools Old Boys and Old Girls Club of Montevideo, Uruguay, 3rd & 4th January ‘09.
West Indies Head Coach, Joe Whipple of Canada and Barbados, plans to hold a final Trial Camp in March, prior to selection of the Rugby West Indies Team for the Hong Kong tournament.
The Rugby West Indies Team is sponsored by Butterfield Bank, Conyers Dill & Pearman, the Guyana Telephone & Telegraph Company, the Bahamas Rugby Football Union, the Bermuda Rugby Football Union, Caribbean Airlines and a number of private individuals.
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