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Guernsey names squad heading to World Cup

GUERNSEY Touch has named a 16 strong squad to represent the island at the Touch World Cup next month.

It will be the first time that Guernsey has been represented at the five-day tournament which has attracted more than 100 teams from 28 different countries including Japan, America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, England, France, Italy and Germany.

‘The 16 who have been chosen have worked incredibly hard over the winter and fully deserve their place in the team. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to represent the island on the world stage and everyone is looking forward to it,’ said Guernsey Touch chair Katrina Bray who will travel to the tournament as team manager.

Oliver Ward, Mark Rodliffe, Richard Duchemin, Matt Brehaut, James Gavey, Alec Bailey, Carly Parrott, Laura Cravo, Jemma Crouse, Justeen Baker and Marie Stefani, who all played for Guernsey’s Mixed team at the European Championship, have all been selected to play. They will be joined by 2010 ladies captain Clio Phelan, 2010 men’s captain Aaron Le Masurier and men’s player Chris Goddard. Sam Stables and Georgia Smith, more well-known for their football and hockey performances, will represent the island at touch for the first time.

‘The team is a mix of experience, pace and strategists and we are hoping to show that as the smallest nation of those attending that we have some talented and committed players,’ said Bray.

Guernsey has been seeded 10th out of 23 teams taking part in the Mixed Open division and has drawn America, Belgium, Australia and England in its pool. The team plays America, Belgium and Australia on Wednesday 22nd June before an early morning game against England at 7.40am on Thursday 23rd June. Teams will then be divided into a cup and bowl competition with fixtures being announced after the pool games.

‘There is no doubt that we have been drawn in a very competitive pool and even at this stage, we expect Australia to be a good bet for a finals place so we know that we have to go out onto the field prepared to play. There will be no second chances but it’s extremely exciting to be playing some of the best touch teams in the world,’ said Ward who has been coaching the team.

The team leaves Guernsey on Sunday 19th June with the tournament starting on Wednesday 22nd June. The sport’s governing body, Federation of International Touch, has asked all teams to be in Edinburgh to work with youngsters on Tuesday 21st June.