Seven teams from the Rugby Americas North Region are competing August 1 and 2 in Barranquilla, Columbia for the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games. It is the 23rd instance of the competition and there are 37 nations participating, 5,854 athletes and 470 events.
On the men’s side, Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, and Mexico will be competing. Representing the RAN Women, are Mexico, Jamaica, and French Guiana. All of the teams earned their tickets to this year’s Games by finishing in the top spots at the 2017 RAN Sevens tournament.
RAN checked in with some of the teams ahead of the tournament.
“We have made two changes from the World Cup Team for the CASCO Games. At the World Cup we brought Vanessa Gasperin Rodriguez (Veracruz) as our 13th player for reserve in case of injury. For 18 year old Vanessa it was a huge learning experience & we are thrilled for her to be selected for the CASCO games. She has electric pace and add a lot of energy to our attack every time she touches the ball. Our other change is 17 year old Fernanda Tovar from Guadalajara. We have been investing in our youth and giving them opportunities at a high level is the only way to build for the future of rugby in Mexico. Fernanda captained our U-18s team in Las Vegas earlier this year and was pivotal in helping our RAN 10s team finish 3rd earlier in July. Her performance, work ethic, and attitude has earned her a place in our CASCO Team. She traditionally plays in the forwards but we have asked her this year to transition to the centers. She has adapted incredibly well both offensively well and on attack. She has vision, and can distribute the ball well.
We have 3 returning player from the Bronze Medal 2014 CASCO Games Team that competed in Veracruz including Fernanda Carrillo, Dany Rosales, Michelle Farah Chalita. Karina Landeros whose determination and professionalism battled back from injury for the past 2 years was on great form at the World Cup. Her performance, and leadership has earned her Captaincy in Barranquilla this week. She is a true leader both on and off the field. I am looking forward to seeing my team perform this week. They have all worked extremely hard and are fully prepared for this competition.”
– Robin MacDowell, Head Coach
“Será un torneo muy competido, ya que cualquiera de los 8 equipos que participan pueden ganarlo.
En la experiencia previa al torneo, Las Serpientes han jugado contra 6 de los 8 equipos que participan. En los últimos 2 años no se ha podido enfrentar a Venezuela y Colombia.
Esperamos calificar en 1ro o 2do lugar de grupo para enfrentar al 3ro o 4to lugar del otro grupo, pensando llegar a pelear por las medallas de los Juegos Centroamericanos Barranquilla 2018.
Esperamos un torneo muy interesante, con un alto nivel competitivo en donde esperamos que Las Serpientes puedan imponer su estilo y juego frente a nuestros rivales”.
-Simon Pierre, Head Coach
“One Pride, One Heart, One Love, One Reggae Crocs! We know what it means to Medal and we are the grassroots aspiration of rugby success. No competitor will hand us games; we are targeted and as such we must approach each game–one game at a time. Every game is a final.”
– Huntley Anderson, Head Coach
“The team has been on a journey which would have begun earlier this year culminating with the CAC games and the RAN 7s. The key to success in both is clarity in ensuring what is needed to create the right mind set, while competing. The CAC games will provide a unique challenge as it allows us to go up against strong opposition we usually wouldn’t get a chance to, but we believe we are well equipped to take on this challenge”
-Larry Mendez, Head Coach