Eight men’s sides, split into two pools, and four women’s teams will take part in the Naples 9s in Florida this weekend at the Paradise Coast Sports Complex.
In men’s pool A, The Hurricanes from Jamaica will come up against South Florida Speed, Carolina Storm and San Diego Barracudas, while in pool B, hosts Southwest Florida Copperheads take on New York Roots, Cleveland Rockers and Jamaica Exodus, a team of expatriates from the island.
In the women’s group, Carolina Blues and Carolina Storm take on New York Roots and the Jamaica Reggae Warriors national team.
Each game will be nine minutes each way with unlimited interchanges and six points awarded for a try between the posts.
“We are excited for the opportunity to host the Naples 9s and the start of the 2023 season so we can see which team has what it takes to win the USARL South competition, and to have the opportunity to welcome our friends from Jamaica,” said Curtis Goddard, Copperheads CEO. “As always, we appreciate the enthusiasm and support from all of our sponsors and fans. Without them, the dream of playing rugby league at the superb Paradise Coast Sports Complex is not possible.”
The event is partnered by the ‘Joel Byrne Let the Goodness Shine Fund’ (#whatwouldjoeldo) and will include an attempt to establish a world record for the largest parents versus kids touch rugby game, which will take place on the field between the semi-finals and championship games to honour 15-year-old Joel Byrne's legacy of volunteerism.