BELIZE CITY, Fri. Aug. 20, 2021– For the first time, Rugby Belize has entered Belize’s national Rugby Sevens team into a world rugby tournament. Rugby Sevens is a variant of rugby in which teams are reduced to 7 players playing for seven-minute halves. This contrasts with the usual gameplay in which 15 players play for two 40-minute halves.
The tournament in which Rugby Belize intends to participate is being organized by the Rugby Americas North and will be hosted in the Turks and Caicos on October 16th and 17th, 2021. Participating in this event will allow Belize to obtain points that could boost the possibility of our local team qualifying to participate in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The national team selection was carried out after a training event held in Orange Walk. The team includes players from the Cayo Baymen RFC, the Belmopan Cavaliers RFC, the Orange Walk Black Mambas RFC, and the Belize City Vikings RFC. Tony Gillings and Udil Briceño of the Belize Rugby Football Union will serve as the national team’s head coach and assistant coach, respectively.
The team will feature Dayton Warrior, the sole Cayo Baymen RFC player, playing at the Prop position; Andre Muschamp and Gustavo Lopez, both of the Belmopan Cavaliers RFC, playing in the Hooker and Sub positions, respectively; and Orange Walk Black Mambas RFC players: Luis Cunil, playing in the Prop position; Raheem Cummings, playing at the Centre position; Enrique Castillo, playing at the Winger position; and Orlando Castillo and Abi Godoy, both playing as Subs. Belize City Vikings RFC members will fill the four remaining positions, with Aubrey Coc, playing as a Scrum Half; Robin Haylock as a Fly Half; and Edrick Matusmatus and Frank Romero being the remaining Subs.
Tony Gillings, head coach of the national team, said, “This is a true national team. A very strong, dedicated and motivated team, and I am proud to be their coach.”
Thus far, Rugby Belize has received a grant that partially covers the cost of attending the competition. However, the grant does not cover all related fees. As a result, Rugby Belize is asking Belizeans to financially support, and cheer on the team, as it embarks on this historic journey to Belize’s first International rugby match. In addition, Rugby Belize is asking the business community for sponsorships and contributions to help cover their cost of attendance. As outlined in the Rugby Belize release, the team will need to raise BZ25,000.00 to cover airfares, since the team will need to arrive at the Turks and Caicos via the United States. The release states, “Any help would be very, very much appreciated.”