USVI rugby union ready for its first tournament

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ST. THOMAS - Rugby enthusiasts on St. Thomas started practicing regularly in June. In August, Dan Perez incorporated the group into the U.S. Virgin Islands Rugby Football Union Privateers.

The union has had enough practice among its members and they will play other teams in their first official tournament. The games will be held in Road Town, Tortola.

"It feels awesome," said Perez, the union president. "There's a good unity, a good bond. It's something that the guys have wanted for a while. We've been practicing since August. We're doing well, we're very excited."

The tournament is a rugby sevens competition with teams from Puerto Rico and the British Virgin Islands. The Privateers will split into two teams of 10, and each squad will play five matches. Teams have seven players on the field and play seven-minute halves.

Perez described this style of rugby as a "faster-paced game. A game more for the running backs than the forwards."

The team is a diverse group with Americans, West Indians, South Africans and Australians. The action starts at 11 a.m.

- Contact Tim Chapman at 714-9102 or

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