Bermuda rugby union head coach Peter Lewington insists his team are in it to win it, despite them facing what promises to be their toughest test of the Rugby Americas North Caribbean Championships tomorrow.
Lewington has drafted in six new players to his squad for the clash with USA North at the North Field tomorrow, kick-off 3pm.
Former Bermuda head coach Brian Archibald, of Renegades who also played for Scotland Under-21, comes into the squad while Alex Doyling, of Mariners, is expected to provide pace on the wing.
“Archibald has played consistently well for his local club Renegades and apart from his versatility, he gives us an extra option with his kicking,” Lewington said.
He is under no illusions as to how strong the Americans will be, but is up for the challenge of the tournament, in which they also travel to Trinidad and Tobago on May 19 and Cayman Islands on June 9.
“I think the most challenging game will be USA South, but that’s not to say it’s a write-off; we’re here to win,” he said. “We come to the pitch and that’s why we play. We play for the love of the game and to win. There’s a team of winners here basically. We’ve won the tournament in the past and there’s no reason why we can’t win it again.
“I’d be happy with two out of three victories; I think that’s a reasonable goal. We can do it if people can play to their potential.”
Bermuda lost 51-11 to Canadian side Queen’s University in March, with Lewington aiming to improve fitness since then.
“The fitness at the end of the season has been reasonable,” he said. “It’s still an issue because people aren’t professional rugby players.
“They’ve got lives outside of rugby, so they’ve been pulled in a lot of different ways. It’s difficult for them to commit to training, when they’re training three times a week in rugby, then getting their fitness in on top of that. The fitness and rugby training, although you can combine some of it, they’re two separate things. They’re two different disciplines.”
Nevertheless, Lewington has been happy with the team’s “dedication and team spirit”.
He added: “They’re working well together and I’m quite happy we’ve got the strongest side out we can, with some very strong players on the bench as well. There’s some impact players to come on as and when we need them.”