Crocs comfortable ahead of Rugby 7s
National rugby union coach Clarence Brown says that the men's and women's teams are currently settling in and adapting well to conditions in Hong Kong ahead of their Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens tournament, which starts this week.
The Crocs and the Lady Crocs, which include local-based players as well as those originating from Canada and the United Kingdom, will be making their debut in the competition, and Brown said that team morale is where it needs to be right now.
"The players have settled in well, training hard, bonding as a unit, and the door is open for us to move up, therefore, we're the only ones that can beat ourselves," he said. "The integration with the Canadian and Jamaican girls is great, however, the gelling among the UK and local-based players is supergreat."
Ladies captain Lisa Frazer agrees with him.
"It is a very exciting feeling, and we are highly motivated to do our best at the Hong Kong tournament," she said. "The bond is getting stronger among the players. We are working on the technical aspect of the game because the tournament is quick, with each game played for 14 minutes."
Recently, it was alleged that a number of Jamaican athletes from the 2008 Beijing Olympics had their urine samples retested. The tests found the banned substance clenbuterol in them. China has a reputation for using clenbuterol in livestock farming to increase animals' muscle mass, and it was also claimed that these athletes had the substance in their bodies from consuming the meat of these livestock.
Brown said that the team is mindful of this but she is not too concerned as it was said that the traces of clenbuterol were too minute to be branded as cheating. However, the players will be careful about the meals they consume.
"If this is true, then it would be of great concern to us, of course," he said. "But WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency) has their office set up at the match venue, ready to go."
The Lady Crocs open their campaign against Japan today while their male counterparts get started against Germany tomorrow.