FORMER national captain, Felician Guerra, said versatility in the TT team will be key to their success when the 2018 Rugby Americas North (RAN) Men’s 15s Tournament gets underway this weekend.
TT open its campaign against Bermuda at St Anthony’s College Ground in Westmoorings from 4 pm on Saturday. “I think our strength, as it has always been over the years, is versatility; we have a lot of guys who can do more than one thing on the pitch,” Guerra said following a training session recently at President’s Grounds, St Ann’s. Guerra said if his team-mates are caught in the wrong position on the field, it will not affect their rhythm as the players would be able to adjust and perform accordingly. “If a guy gets caught in a different position, we don’t lose anything by him being there,” he said.
Guerra believes the team comprises great ball handlers and big players who are also quite fast.
After the Bermuda match, TT will be at home against USA South on June 16, before travelling to Cayman Islands on June 23 to face that country. Guerra, now 33 years old, said the other teams are not familiar with TT and that could benefit this country in the tournament.
“I think we actually have a very good chance. One of the reasons is that we have not played those three teams in a while, so they don’t know what to expect from us. Having a lot of new guys coming in, it will be new faces that they will not be familiar with. It will be a culture shock for them playing against this team, as opposed to years in the past.”
When Newsday visited the TT training session recently, almost 40 players were training under coach Kyle Wynyard. Fiji-born player Sefanaia Waqa is in the process of organising his documents to play for TT. Waqa, who moved to TT four years ago with his family, is unlikely to be cleared to play for Saturday’s match but will be hopeful of playing later in the tournament.
Guerra is pleased that a huge group of players are in training and fighting hard to make the final squad which should be announced today.
“It is always good (to have a big group of players) because it puts the guys who accustomed being there under pressure to keep their spot, so it raises the level of intensity at the training sessions, so we get to accomplish a lot more,” Guerra said.