Rugby Sevens Tournament set to get underway at Commonwealth Youth Games
Submitted on: Sep 10, 2011
(Pictured above Trinidad & Tobago)
By Simon Crellin
The rugby 7s competition gets underway later today at the Commonwealth Youth Games on the Isle of Man’s Bowl Stadium with the opening group matches taking place on the all-weather pitch in the newly refurbished ‘Bowl’ stadium in the Island’s capital Douglas.
The Isle of Man will feature in the opening game of the competition against Scotland at around 1620 GMT, with the rest of Group A comprising Canada and Australia. The first match pitches the current hosts against the host nation of the next Games in 2014.
Isle of Man Rugby 7’s Team Manager, Mike Dee:
“The Isle of Man rugby 7’s squad have been building up to this competition for over two years. It is a fantastic opportunity. To represent your country against such formidable opposition, on home ground,in a newly developed stadium is fantastic. The whole squad are looking forward to the 7’s, the Games as a whole and the opportunity to make a lot of new Rugby playing friends from across the globe.”
England will play in group B alongside Trinidad & Tobago, Sri Lanka and the powerful South Africans before the tournament moves to knock out rounds on Sunday. All teams are guaranteed a quarter-final place but a higher position in the group will be crucial for avoiding tougher opposition later on.
Danny Care and Danny Cipriani, who both went on to win full England caps, were both part of England’s rugby 7s team at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Bendigo back in 2004, and their coach Ben Ryan believes a number of his Isle of Man squad will soon be treading the same path to senior international success.
Ahead of their first match he hailed the tournament and the Games, commenting:
“It’s fantastic for these lads to be here enjoying a multi-sport event. Experience counts for a lot and this tournament will stand us in good stead for future Commonwealth Games and Olympics.”
Trinidad and Tobago’s Team Manager Rudolph Jack is also looking forward to the tournament and believes that it is a great opportunity for his team:
“In an eight team draw at this level there will be no place to hide. To play South Africa and England, two of the biggest names in world rugby will be quite an experience for my players. Sri Lanka, from what I have read cannot be taken lightly. I’m confident in the squad of players going to Isle of Man, and I know we’ll give a good account of ourselves during the competition. The main thing for me is that the boys enjoy and learn something from the competition which will serve them well in the future.”