FRIDAY, MAY 18: Bermuda’s rugby stars are gearing themselves up for the biggest game on home soil so far this year.
The team takes on Cayman Islands this weekend in a ‘must win’ clash if Bermuda are to defend their Caribbean Championships title.
Coach Lawrence Bird told the Bermuda Sun the squad was ‘quietly confident’ ahead of Saturday’s game.
He said: “It’s a really big game for us.
“The build up and the preparation has been great. We have had a lot of guys turn up to training.
“But there is no danger of us being complacent going into this one.
“Our organization and our skill levels should see us through but it’s going to be tough match.
“We have a focused and fit bunch of players and we are treating this as a must win game.
“We can not afford to be a close second.”
Bermuda’s next game after the weekend will take place on June 9 away against the Bahamas.
Only the top team in the three-strong group will go through to the finals to play either Guyana, Barbados or Trinidad on June 23 in the finals of the NACRA Caribbean Championships.
The winners of the competition will advance as the sole Caribbean representatives to the next round of World Cup qualifiers for 2015.
Bird added: “There is a big reward at the end of the line if we can retain the title.
“It’s not just the championship but also the opportunity to move into the World Cup qualifiers too.
“We have a committed set of players and they can get the job done for us.”
Keith Hodgkins, Bermuda Rugby Football Union Chairman, added: “We have a very experienced team and they have built up a great sense of unity.
“I am pretty optimistic about our chances.
“The training has been going well and the guys have really put in a lot of effort to make sure they are ready for this game.”
Saturday’s match against Cayman will kick off at the North Field of the National Sports Stadium at 4pm.
But gates will open at 1pm for a series of middle school and high school games.
The Bermuda squad for Saturday’s game is Paul Dobinson, Dustin Archibald, Jahan Cedenio Thomas Greenslade, Mike Williams, David Rourke, Bobby Hurdle, Peter Dunkerley, Darren Richardson, Andrew Hook, Henry Paddison, Pete Dunlop, Tony Ward, Tom Healy, Ian Henderson, Lachie Armour, Paul Davis, Tom Edwards, Neville Zuill, Andre Landy, Shauntino Simons and David Pringle.