The Jamaica Under-18 Crocs and the Senior Crocs, both men and women, are set to compete at the Rugby Americas North (RAN) Sevens competitions from November 11-13 in Mexico City, Mexico.
The championship should have been held in February but the RAN Medical Committee and the Mexican Rugby Federation) decided to postpone because of a surge in the COVID-19 omicron variant.
Jamaica’s senior men’s team are fresh out of World Cup competition while the boys recently topped an Under-19 tournament involving RAN teams in July.
This will be the RAN first Super Sevens’ week in which Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands’ juniors will be competing in and Bruce Martin, the technical director of the Crocs’ Rugby Sevens programme, extended gratitude to the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), which played “a vital and integral role” in the team being able to attend.
“This is a great deal for the Jamaica Under 18 Junior Crocs that acts as a catalyst to so many more major events for us in rugby,” said Martin. “The JOA recognizes that this (U18 RAN Sevens) is a result of many years of hard work and strict dedication from our players on the pathway to dynamic moves in Jamaica Rugby and the JOA equally shares our excitement.”
The junior competition gets going on Friday with Jamaica facing to Mexico B in the morning opener. Afternoon matches will follow against the British Virgin Islands and Trinidad and Tobago.
The senior competition gets going on Saturday with Jamaica’s men tackling Curacao in the day’s opening match while the women will take on the Dominican Republic near midday. The women will follow up with a game against Bermuda before going up against hosts Mexico.
The focus of the Under-18 Crocs will be to secure a spot at the Youth Commonwealth Games Summer 2023 tournament in Trinidad & Tobago. The longer-term goal will be to qualify for the 2028 Olympic Games to be held in Los Angeles, United States.
“This is an exciting time for the Jamaica Under 18 junior Crocs rugby team and it is an added bonus to have the financial support of the JOA all the while understating the budget constraints that they are faced with,” Martin said.
He pointed out that the sporting body has “sacrificed with the knowledge that they understand the vision in seeing what this platform allows,” while noting his appreciation that Jamaica’s players will be able to display their talents and earn their spot as one of the best Under 18 rugby teams not only in the Caribbean, but also in the world.