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Rugby 7s lads look to rebound

Mike King

Rugby 7s lads look to rebound

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Don’t?give up on the Barbados rugby sevens team.
The boys were bashed at the Commonwealth Games in Scotland because Barbados were not able to field their best team because several members were deemed ineligible to compete as they did not have Barbados citizenship or passports.
That’s the view of captain Sean Ward, who returned home from Glasgow with the team on Tuesday afternoon.
“Having to do without those guys was a real setback to the team. These guys would have been the same guys who would have played and gotten us onto the circuit, taken us to Hong Kong and would have been key to some of our big achievements.
“If we had those guys, it would have been different. We had to play with the cards that we were dealt.
“We set ourselves some goals and achieved some of them in Scotland, but in terms of the outcome of the games it was tough and the scorelines were disastrous.
“There were too many loopholes and we badly missed the experience of the guys that were unavailable,” he added.
Barbados were mauled 68-5 by Canada and did not get a single point against Scotland and New Zealand. The Scots recorded a 56-0 blitz, while the Kiwis completed a 59-0 rout.
The International Rugby Board recently changed its eligibility requirements to fall in line with those of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and as a result players must hold passports of the country they are representing.
The Barbados Rugby Football Union (BRFU) was advised in February that the team had qualified for the Commonwealth Games due to the withdrawal of Nigeria, forcing the BRFU to apply for citizenship for the players at very short notice.
Even though the players had represented Barbados previously and their parents and or grandparents are Bajan, they did not receive citizenship and were ineligible to play.
Senator Darcy Boyce, who has responsibility for immigration, has already received correspondence on the issue from the Barbados Rugby Football Union.
Ward said he was hoping that Government would fast-track the issue.
“It’s a learning curve for both the team and the Government, as it is important that we put the best team out. At the end of the day, that is what it is about. We want to stamp the rugby map with Barbados’ name,” he added.
Ward said the Commonwealth Games might have been a setback but far from the end of the road.
“The Commonwealth Games was a step towards a greater goal and we know those goals. We know what our eyes are set on and I appreciate it was a learning curve,” he said.
Ward said that one of the immediate targets would be the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games slated for November in Mexico.
“I hope by then we will have this legal issue sorted out and we can put out our strongest side once more so that we can put Barbados where it is supposed to be in rugby.”