The national men’s rugby team is currently gearing up to compete in the Pan Am championships to be staged in Guadalajara, Mexico later this month and the NACRA championships in Barbados next month.
Stabroek Sports, Emmerson Campbell caught up with Theodore Henry, the assistant coach and manager of the team on Saturday at the National Park Rugby ground and he agreed to shed some light on the progress and preparation of the ruggers.
EC: What are the players working on currently?
TH: Right now we are in the tactical phase of the programme winding down on the fitness programme and moving into the tactical phase just putting the guys through some paces bringing them up to scratch on how to play on the big stage.
EC: Are you satisfied with the progress you have seen so far?
TH: Fitness wise I am satisfied but we have a lot of work to do in the tactical department so over the next month or so that will be the main emphasis of the sessions.
EC: When will the overseas-based players arrive?
TH: We are expecting Richard Staglon, Claudius Butts, and Ronald Mayers on Monday (today). The others (Kevin McKenzie, Christopher Giles and Dominic Lespierre) will be joining us in Mexico. But I know the inclusion of the three players I just mentioned will bring the simulation practice games up to a reasonable quality that we could move into Mexico quite happy with.
EC: The guys haven’t been playing together for a while how does that affect the team?
TH: No! they haven’t been training together for a while but you can basically say they are core players of the team and they would know exactly what the regimen is like, there is nothing new except the fitness standard so I know they will fit into the mix quite easily.
EC: Are the reserves still coming out to train?
TH: Most of the reserves are still coming out and it’s nice to see that guys haven’t been selected and still showing a super interest in terms of seeing the selected players continue with good opposition and rivalry, pushing them all the way to the tape.
EC: Other than the tactical department what other weaknesses is the team working on?
TH:Well, most of the weaknesses are being addressed in the tactical department that’s why I stressed we have a long month ahead of us `cause there is a lot of work to be done on our offense I think our defence is generally good but it’s tough having to play defence for 14 minutes. One of our deficiencies is protecting the ball whenever we have possession so that’s one of the areas we will be working on.
The team will wing out for Mexico next Monday.
The members of the team are :Walter George, Yamaha Caribs, Richard Staglon, Trinidad & Tobago-based, Rupert Giles, England-based, Ryan Gonsalves, Hornets, Claudius Butts, Yamaha Caribs, Kevin McKenzie, Australia-based, Dominic Lespierre, Australia-based, Vallon Adams, Yamaha Caribs, Dwayne Schroeder, GDF, Leon Greaves, Hornets, Ronald Mayers, Trinidad & Tobago-based, Breon Walks, GDF.
Reserves: Troy Bascom, Hornets, Avery Corbin, GDF,
Rickford Cummings, Hornets, Blaize Bailey, Hornets,
Rondell Hudson, GDF, O’Neill Charles, Yamaha Caribs,
Elwin Chase, Hornets.
Manager/Asst. Coach Theo Henry
Coach: Spencer Robinson
Physio: Arine Mang.