Rugby Union

Barbados hoping to shine in Commonwealth Games

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In a global competition there always sits an underdog, in the Confederations Cup we had Tahiti and in the World Cup it was Costa Rica; now Barbados are looking to light up the 2014 Commonwealth games in the Rugby sevens.

This small nation holds 1,700 eligible players and five clubs within its nation, as their place in this years' Commonwealth games was due to Nigeria dropping out of the tournament and even though they didn't earn a place this hasn't dampened their spirits.

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Jordan Gomez and Phil Lucas, two players originated from England, spoke to Talking Rugby News about the amount of joy they hold for representing their country in Barbados' Commonwealth debut, and how their dreams are coming true.

"I think we were all pretty shocked when we got the call. It was a real no-brainer when we were offered the spot," said Jordan Gomez.

"What a fantastic occasion for us! There are so many boys who have put their hearts and souls into this team and to go and represent the few hundred thousand back home in Barbados is a great achievement. We are really looking forward to it."

This may be a momentous occasion for some of the players, especially those who play their rugby in the Caribbean Islands, but their pool speaks in high volumes as the sevens team will take on the hosts Scotland, New Zealand and Canada.


But one thing the public have noticed is never underestimate a team of small proportions because they could deliver an upset. We've seen this on many occasions within global tournaments; a team passed off as an easy win who causes a shock result.

The fact Barbados are eager to begin this tournament shows their enthusiasm and passion to what they are about to achieve, as Phil Lucas went on to speak about how half of the team originates from England but they are still a close-knit bunch.

“At the moment it’s pretty much half and half for us; we have about eight to ten UK-based players and about 17-20 Bajan players," Lucas said.

“I think that’s been great for us to gel as a team and hopefully perform at the Commonwealth Games.”


Everyone loves an underdog because they have a spirit and fight that other teams don't, and we've seen them display moments of magic that have shocked the tipped 'better' opposition.

The most recent example was Caribbean team Costa Rica in the 2014 World Cup, having been put in the group with Italy, Uruguay and England, many fans believed that this was an easy three points, but how wrong they were.

The small nation propelled into the knockout stages before losing on penalties to Netherlands in the quarter finals.

This showed teams like Barbados are not to be ignored as heart and tenacity can go a long way in sport, especially if the team work well together as well as being playing in an organised fashion.

What people have to realise though is Rugby Sevens is a challenging game and is completely different to your usual game of Rugby, there are more gaps on the field and stamina, strength and mental awareness play a huge factor in winning a game.

Willingness is key and experience could help as we are seeing players like Scotland's Stuart Hogg and Bryan Habana of South Africa, who is on stand-by, both named in this years' tournament for their nations.

Barbados may bring a surprise package or crash out at the group stages, but one thing for sure is that debuts rarely go to plan.

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Scotland Rugby
Commonwealth Games
England Rugby
New Zeland Rugby
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