JOA lauds character of Jamaica's successful rugby team

Saturday, January 20, 2018

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The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) has lauded the character, mettle and determination which Jamaica's rugby team displayed in its historic qualification for the 2018 Rugby World Sup Sevens which will take place this year at AT&T Park, San Francisco, USA, July 20-22.

Speaking during a courtesy call paid by Jerry Benzwick, president of the Jamaica Rugby Association and Conan Osboure, captain of Team Jamaicaand the recipient of the 2017 Athlete Award for rugby, JOA boss Christopher Samuda said: “The team's success was a display of valour and gumption and is a national example worthy of emulation in any endeavour.”

Samuda stated that JOA's financial support of the team was an easy decision as the association mapped the team's journey and performance and accepted Benzwick's assurance that the team had all the ingredients for success.

Benzwick in turn thanked the JOA for its support, commended the team and indicated that rugby is growing in Jamaica and has a very bright future.

“The team went into the qualification tournament not to participate but to compete and win,” said the rugby boss.

His sentiments were echoed by captain Osbourne, who played valiantly in the last stages of the final with a broken wrist and who gave Jamaica the historic victory when he crossed in the dying seconds to snatch a 28-24 victory against pre-tournament favourites Guyana.

Ryan Foster, chief executive officer of the JOA, in his remarks praised the team and stated that the vision of JOA firmly encourages this profile of success “which does not come overnight, but is a product of unquestionable commitment, hard work and pride in achieving for the glory of country”.

Jamaica's men and Mexico's women qualified for the 2018 RWC Sevens after winning their respective Rugby Americas North Sevens Championship titles.

In addition to gaining a birth at the 2018 RWC Sevens, the Jamaica male team also qualified for the 2018 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games, Commonwealth Games and the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series qualifier in Hong Kong in April of this year.

Jamaica's female team gave a good showing by placing third in the Rugby Americas North (RAN) Sevens Championships, which automatically qualified them for the CAC Games which will take place July 19-August 3 in Barranquilla, Colombia.

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