Brown can’t wait to take to field in Hong Kong
ONE of Port Elizabeth’s sons will add some South African flavour to Caribbean rugby when the Cayman Islands national team travels to Hong Kong next month for the Rugby Sevens Invitational tournament.
Following their success at the annual North American Caribbean Rugby Association’s tournament last year, and an appearance at the Las Vegas Rugby Sevens earlier this month, Cayman Islands qualified for the Hong Kong event.
And team member Josh Brown, 30, of Port Elizabeth, cannot wait to play in front of a potential 45 000-strong crowd.
“Vegas was an awesome experience for us as we played some really good opposition and learnt a lot that helped us with our preparations for Hong Kong,” Brown said.
“However, I’m not sure anything can prepare us for when we run out onto the field in Hong Kong with 45 000 people in the stands!”
The former Grey High School pupil went to the Cayman Islands for the first time in 2004 and now manages a popular restaurant on Seven Mile Beach.
He started his rugby career as a youngster at Grey, and while he never made his school’s first team, he has been part of the Cayman Islands’ 15-man national rugby setup since 2009, and is now playing his second season of sevens rugby.
Cayman coach and former Blitzbok Jovan Bowles is another South African to form part of the Cayman rugby setup.
The team is a melting pot of nationalities and cultures, with players from the Caymans, Scotland and Jamaica making up the squad, giving them “quite a mix of boys” participating under the Cayman Islands’ flag.
The Caymans drew a very competitive group for the Hong Kong event and will face Germany, Zimbabwe and the hosts.
Brown, however, believes Zimbabwe will be their toughest opponent, as they have the most experience playing against top-tier teams from the feature event.
“This will be their 12th appearance at the event as opposed to us making our debut. But all the games will be of a high standard and we are really looking forward to it,” he said.
Brown’s mother, Port Elizabeth public relations practitioner Michelle Brown, said she and her husband, Gavin, were extremely excited to be flying to Hong Kong next week to watch their son play.
“Not only are we excited to watch Josh play, but our daughter Nina is an English teacher in Hong Kong. So we can’t wait to see our kids,” Brown said.
“It is a very special time for us to be able to sit in the stands and watch our son play in such an incredible global event – and then watch the Blitzboks play too!
“We will be wearing both the Cayman and the Springbok jerseys. We can’t wait to be part of it,” she said.