BY AKEEM GREENE
With 16 days until the Guyana National Rugby team, the Green Machine play Mexico in the final of the Rugby Americas North (RAN) 15s Championship and 2019 World Cup Qualifier on October 1 in Mexico City, the local ruggers are in a financial constrain according to President of the Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) Peter Green.
Green in speaking to Guyana Times Sport revealed that “we are on a string budget, the preparations that are ongoing is based on what we have left over from our funds; the Green Machine has a lot of heart but I am getting worried now because how long can we keep going, we cannot keep scratching around for money”.
The team which is currently in preparation for their quest to reach Japan in 2019 have been plagued with financial troubles in the past but their current hurdle could have an adverse effect on their courageous endeavours.
Green further stated,” this is a very physical game, these guys are dedicated, but the cost of travelling from where they living is expensive and they are not even getting time-off and the sort of responses I’m getting is that these guys are only playing for ego, the only thing that will beat the Green Machine is our selves our, own people.”
However, despite the gloom the President said that they have received support from their governing body RAN to attend to ensure they play the game.
He disclosed that, “Remember the under-19s took a big chunk out of us but we had to send them but at the very moment, RAN our governing body has stepped in and they are paying the airfare and accommodation for three days in Mexico for 26 persons, 23 players and three officials”.
The GRFU head had previously stated that the national men’s 15s team will need in the neighborhood of $15M to blanket all expenses for the all-important away game. In addition, he emphasized, that his men will need to travel to the high altitude country at least 10 days prior to the encounter in order to acclimatize but “that costs money.”
The playing conditions stipulate that the game has to be played in Mexico and Guyana must foot the bill since the championship rules dictate that the team with the higher seeding during the last edition of the tournament is rewarded with hosting the final; Mexico finished second last year.
Mexico and Guyana earned their way into the Rugby Americas North Final by winning the North and South Zone qualifiers respectively. Las Serpientes completed a comfortable 39-3 and 75-10 wins over the Bahamas and Bermuda before being challenged by Cayman Islands but still managed to win 34-24.
Guyana also had two convincing wins out of three; they started off by defeating Barbados 49-17 which was followed by a 23-5 win over They then snatches a 23-18 win against Trinidad and Tobago.
The local ruggers have leaped nine places to 46 (their highest world ranking ever) after three wins in the tourney and should they defeat Mexico they will face the South American B Championship winner in November. (firstname.lastname@example.org)