When the ‘Green Machine’ faces the mighty Mexicans on their home turf in the Rugby Americas North (RAN) 15s final on October 1, they will be armed with the services of world class Argentinian coach, Diego Giannantonio.
Giannantonio who will act as the Technical Director and work along with head coach of the unit, Laurie Adonis, was introduced to the media yesterday at the Argentine Embassy.
During yesterday’s briefing, a Declaration of Intent in the area of sports was also discussed between Ambassador of Argentina to Guyana, Luis Martino, Minister of Education, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine and the top brass of the Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU).
Giannantonio who arrived on Tuesday for a two-week stint, will work with the squad especially in the scrum, one of the kinks in the armor of the ‘Green Machine’.
According to Adonis, Giannantonio was warmly welcomed by the players.
“Diego and the guys hit it off right away. It’s been a pleasure having him to come and work with us” said Adonis.
Adonis added that the Argentinian “brings an international blend of rugby to the camp, helping us out in the weaker parts of our game like the scrums, the mauls and the line outs. He is working well for us and we will like to have him back.”
Having a long term programme in placed was discussed since it was agreed that short term stints would not allow Guyana to bridge the gap on the world stage.
As a result Martino and Roopnaraine along with other stakeholders like the Guyana Teachers Union and the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) will engage in dialogue to implement a three-tier plan dubbed the National Athlete Development Programme which will be anchored in schools.
According to the GOA’s Charles Corbin, works are in the pipelines to have an operational agreement signed and implemented by January 2017.
In the short term however, Giannantonio through an interpreter stated that what he has observed so far, “there is great human potential in the team.”
He however noted that the ‘Green Machine’ must work more as a team and that technically “I know they can still get better but I see them now as very good.”
Giannantonio further noted that “I hope that this visit serves as a beginning between Guyana and Argentina and use rugby so that we cannot only better the game but a lot of other things to come.”
Dr. Roopnaraine disclosed that “We will be discussing these areas in which the governments can get closer since we stand to gain from this deepening of relations between Guyana and Argentina.”
The Minister revealed that a small contribution will be made to the union to assist with the travels to Mexico.
Following his remarks, Director of Sport, Chris Jones presented president of the union, Peter Green with a cheque valued at $2M.
In brief remarks, Green said he was happy to be part of the process of having the partnership which can put Guyana on the map.
He then thanked the GOA, the Government of Guyana, Martino, Patron of the Guyana Union Kit Nascimento for being instrumental for Giannantonio’s stint as well as potential long term bilateral agreements.
The Green Machine is scheduled to wing out on Tuesday.