Venue: Meridian Fields, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands
Referee: Edward Gardner (USA)
My records have other games played by Turks and Caicos Islands in the past. This may well be their first full test rugby match. I’m waiting to here back from the TCRFU to throw light on this topic.
Whatever the true records say this is the first time that the Turks and Caicos Islands have participated in the NACRA 15’s Championship. They have a first up task in the form of Jamaica who have a long history of rugby in the Caribbean.
My records at www.rugbyinternational.net (go to A-Z at the top) show that Jamaica first played test rugby in 1975 and entered the then Caribbean Championship in 1977.
In 2011 Jamaica entered the NACRA Championship after a short break from test rugby. They lost in the Round 1 North Zone knockout by losing away to Cayman Islands 24-36. Later in 2011 they played a friendly against USA South in Kingston, losing 5-52.
In 2012 Jamaica was back into the championship. This time the competition was a part of the 2015 Rugby World Cup qualifying stage. The lost 14-68 to Mexico away but surprised everybody by defeating Cayman Islands 19-18 at home. It wasn’t enough and Caymans went through to round 2. But that win would suggest that Jamaica is improving fast.
I expect they will have too much experience for the home side.
GWC Rugby Rankings do not apply as Turks and Caicos are yet to register a game.
Prediction: Jamaica by 30 points
Jamaica squad not available
Turks and Caicos Islands squad not available