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Rugby - 19. August 2007.

Hurricane Dean -The rugby story everyone has missed?

In all the excitement about the World Cup next month everyone seems to have overlooked an event which risks ending rugby in another part of the world.

A few years ago Hurricane Ivan all but blew away rugby in the Cayman Islands. The game has since made an impressive recovery and this weekend the Islands were due to host the Caribbean Championships for both men's and women's teams. It looked a interesting event with seven men's teams and four women's teams taking part - a real grass roots tournament.

I dropped the Cayman RFU a line a few days ago about how things were going and so on got a quick reply apologising because they were very busy.... and a hurricane was feared. This morning I got a very short notice - the tournament is off, cancelled with only about a day to go.

From what little news that has been published it sounds pretty chaotic. Some teams had already arrived, but now can't get away and so are battening down the hatches in their hotels. Others are trapped mid-way, but still in the path of the hurricane. Other yet must be worried about what will be happening at home as the winds are due to hit Jamaica first - and island that has entered both the men's and women's events. I cannot claim to know anyone involved, but simply through following preparations for the event have developed a certain attachment for it, and now its sudden cancellation has had me scouring the web much o fthe day.

But its a story that so far has completely failed to get any mention on any rugby websites. The IRB are being their usual hopeless selves, failed to even record the tournament was happening even before the weather intervened (run by their own NAWIRA comittee, so they should know about it!) .

So - spare them a few thoughts perhaps, and better still maybe highlight what is happening. These are not the wealthiest unions in the world - at times like this they could probably do with all the help they can get - stargting with some acknoledgement that there is a problem!

John Birch

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