By Emmerson Campbell
The Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) was yesterday the recipient of a cash donation and a quantity of jerseys to the tune of one million dollars from the Beharry Group of Companies.
Marketing Manager of the company Anjuli Beharry made the presentation to GRFU Kit Nascimento in the boardroom of Edward B. Beharry and Sons Limited, Charlotte Street.
Beharry, in brief remarks stated that the team continues to perform and that was why the Beharry Company continues to give them sponsorship.
She added that rugby has done Guyana proud pointing out that the players play for the love of the sport as they are not paid a salary and as a sponsor her company was very proud to help in any way possible.
The donation will go towards the national men’s rugby team participation at the Pan American Sevens tournament to be held in Guadalajara, Mexico on October 29 and 30 and the NACRA championships that will be held in Barbados on November 12 and 13.
“Without the sponsorship from a major corporate company like Beharry, it would not have been possible for our team to participate in the games,” Nascimento said during the ceremony.
He thanked the Beharry Group of Companies for sponsoring rugby for the third time and vowed to continue the good results that the team has achieved in the past.
The GRFU boss spoke of the importance of the Pan Am Games.
“The Pan Am games are extremely important in that this will be the first occasion that the games have included rugby in my anticipation with the fact that Rugby Sevens is now included in the Olympic Games.”
Nascimento said that Guyana will be competing against seven other teams in the tournament, namely Argentina, Canada, USA, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay and host country Mexico.
Argentina are the top seeds followed by USA, Canada, Uruguay, Chile, Guyana, Brazil and Mexico respectively.
The eight teams will be divided into two pools, A and B.
Pool A consists of USA, Uruguay, Guyana and Mexico while pool B is made up of Argentina, Canada, Chile and Brazil.
The national rugby side will open their campaign against Uruguay with the top two teams from each pool qualifying for the quarterfinals.
Matches from the quarter-finals onwards will be on a knockout basis.
Nascimento said:“I predict that if Guyana wins against Uruguay we will be in the medal rounds, so that first game will be a critical game.”
He also indicated what he expects of the national team.
”In my view, with the team that we have been able to select and field now thanks to the kind sponsorship that Beharry has given us, we will be very competitive at these games,” he stated.
Nascimento said while it will be a tall order to defeat power houses like Argentina, Canada and the USA, he said defeating them was not impossible.
The availability of three overseas-based players (Richard Staglon – Trinidad & Tobago), (Rupert Giles -England), (Kevin McKenzie – Australia) will boost the chances of the Guyana side.
Argentina’s rugby side is a world class team that is ranked in the top four in the world while USA and Canada are ranked in the top 10 and Chile, Brazil and Uruguay are the three top rugby teams behind Argentina in South America.
Also present at the presentation was Mike McCormack, the rugby union’s director and chairman of the selection committee. McCormack said the preparation for the tournament was going really well and the players were in excellent physical condition.
Mc Cormack praised the efforts of fitness trainer Barrington Browne for getting the team fully prepared.
At the presentation also were the manager and assistant coach of the team Theodore Henry along with players Vallon Adams, Ryan Gonsalves, Walter George Troy Bascom, and Rickford Cummings.
The team departs on October 17 and will be coached by Spencer Robinson while the physiotherapist will be Arine Mangar.
The full squad reads
Walter George – Yamaha Caribs, Richard Staglon – Trinidad & Tobago, Rupert Giles – Overseas (England)
Ryan Gonsalves – Hornets, Claudius Butts – Yamaha Caribs, Kevin McKenzie – Overseas (Australia), Dominic Lespierre – Overseas (Australia), Vallon Adams – Yamaha Caribs, Dwayne Schroeder – GDF, Leon Greaves – Hornets, Ronald Mayers – Trinidad & Tobago, Breon Walks – GDF.
Reserves:Troy Bascom – Hornets, Avery Corbin – GDF, Rickford Cummings – Hornets, Blaize Bailey – Hornets
Rondell Hudson – GDF, O’Neill Charles – Yamaha Caribs.