Three uncapped players Mark Griffith, Aaron Rocke, both of Harvard and Anton Celestine of Invictus have been included in coach Larry Mendez's 23-man T&T squad, which will open its challenge for the North America and Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) 15s South Zone Championship against Barbados at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, from 4 pm today.
Trizene McLean, Anthony Lopez and Shaquille Tull, all of whom were shortlisted earlier this week failed to make the final cut. Northern No 8 Adam Frederick remains as team captain, while the remaining players include John Hill, Felician Guerra, Kareem Figaro, Jamal Clarke, Gordon Dalgleish, Rowell Gordon, Wayne Kelly, Jonathan O'Connor, Jamal Frank, Aasan Lewis, Agboola Silverthorn, James Phillip, Keishon Walker, David Gokool, Joseph Quashie, Daryl Scott and Andre Cabrera.
Twelve players were a part of the Calypso Warriors team which defeated Barbados 19-6 at the same stage of the Championship last year. Some were also in the team which saw T&T drop Guyana 20-0 in the second match, at UWI Spec Ground, St Augustine. Topping the group, T&T entered the third round where the team met USA South, at Fatima College Ground, Mucurapo, and lost 26-18.Today, Barbados will play its second of two matches in the three-team South Caribbean group, after suffering a heavy (48-29) defeat by Guyana, exactly one week ago.Guyana began today leading the table with three points (including a bonus point), with a positive-29 points difference. Following today's match, T&T will meet Guyana in the deciding fixture on June 7, in Georgetown. The winner of the group will meet the winner of the North Zone Championship, later next month.The scoring method at the NACRA Championship is different to most rugby union tournaments. Two points are awarded for a win and one for a draw. Teams scoring four or more tries are awarded a bonus point. However, there is no bonus point in a loss.