Adam Frederick will captain Trinidad and Tobago’s senior national rugby team when they travel to Barbados to tackle the hosts this Saturday in a NACRA (North America and Caribbean Rugby Association) Men’s 15-a-side Caribbean Championship first round encounter at Garrison Savannah from 4 p.m.
The experienced number eight and standout player for Trinidad Northern Rugby Football Club—who has skippered T&T in the past—resumed the captaincy in the team selected by the T&T Rugby Football Union (TTRFU) and released yesterday.
He replaces scrum half Jonathan O’Connor at the helm. O’Connor led T&T during last year’s failed qualifying campaign for the 2015 World Cup.
Team T&T leave for Barbados on Friday, and return two days later.
They are currently training under “quietly confident” coach Larry Mendez—also head coach of Harvard Club’s rugby team. That team won seven of eight tournaments they played—including the TTRFU’s Toyota Championship and Senior Divisions—in 2012.
It is little surprise that half the squad of 22 comprises Harvard and Caribs RFC players after their fantastic last season. Harvard were dominant last year, and Caribs have had a stranglehold on the title for over two decades before that.
From Harvard are John Hill (prop), Tariq Cheekes (scrum half), Joseph Quashie (centre) and back row duo Rowell Gordon and Wayne Kelly; the Caribs players are Ernest Wright (prop), Miguel Lara (hooker), Graeme Alkins (back row), Anthony Lopez (wing), Shaquille Tull and Jamal Clark. The latter two will take up positions in the second row.
The other players come from Tobago, Northern RFC and Royalians RFC, with UWI earning one pick—centre Jesse Richards.
Getting their first call-ups to the senior national team are Tull, Lopez, Tobago prop Melville Eastman, Royalians’ Kereem Figaro (second row) and winger Kwain Manswell, also of Tobago.
According to a TTRFU release, Curtis Nero has also stated that the players are very upbeat, and are eager to return Trinidad and Tobago to the pinnacle of regional rugby.
The match is a virtual must-win, with T&T still to face Guyana on June 1 at UWI. Only one of the three teams will move on to the next round. Guyana beat T&T last year to knock them out of World Cup qualifying.

T&T squad:
Melville Eastman, Kwain Manswell, Keishon Walker (Tobago RFC); Ernest Wright, Miguel Lara, Jamal Clark, Anthony Lopez, Shaquille Tull, Graeme Alkins (Caribs RFC); John Hill, Rowell Gordon, Wayne Kelly, Tariq Cheekes, Joseph Quashie (The Harvard Club); Felician Guerra, Trizene Mc Lean, Kelson Figaro, Kereem Figaro, James Phillip (Royalians RFC) Adam Frederick (captain), Jonathan O’Connor (Trinidad Northern RFC); Jesse Richards (UWI RFC); Larry Mendez (coach), Dale Trotman (assistant coach), Derek Ashby-Williams (physio), Curtis Nero (manager).