Bermudian Thomas Greenslade has hailed the impact of the World Rugby Classic in giving the island’s players a platform to showcase their talent.
While there is no team representing Bermuda at this year’s tournament, that has not stopped a whole host of local talent making their mark in the ever-popular event, bolstering not only their adopted nations but also helping to progress the sport as a whole across the country.
Representing the USA Classic Eagles, Greenslade, alongside Teachers team-mate Aldo Campbell, make up a strong Bermudian contingent competing at the tournament, which also includes the likes of Peter Dunkerley and Tom Healy (Classic Springboks), Jamie Baum, Tashon DeSilva and Corey Boyce (Rugby Italian Classic) and Darren Cole and Darren Richardson (Classic Lions).
“Richard Boyd, the Teachers rugby player, made me aware that the USA needed a hooker and they gave me a call, I was delighted to get involved,” explained Greenslade on his inclusion.
“I always love playing at home in Bermuda. It makes you play a little harder, but this is a much faster pace and makes you step your game up.
“It isn’t often that we get to demonstrate the local rugby talent here, but through this competition we have been able to highlight a whole host of Bermudian players and really show what we are capable of.
“It is an amazing opportunity for us to play a higher standard of rugby and that can only help with the progression of the players and sport.”
For Greenslade and Campbell, the tournament has been a particularly positive experience as the pair helped the Eagles to reach their first Plate final after edging past Italy 16-15 in a hard-fought semi-final on Thursday.
That set up an exciting tie tonight against France Classic Rugby, who beat the Classic Springboks 17-10 in the other Plate semi-final, to leave Greenslade aiming to cap a memorable experience by helping to guide the Eagles to title success.
“The Eagles are a great bunch of guys, from the coaching staff all the way the players,” he added. “They’re just a great team and I’m delighted to have been part of it all.
“We are all looking forward to the final. It will be a tough game, but hopefully we can build on the semi-final victory and come away with the win.
“The team as whole would love to come away from the competition with the Plate. They’ve worked incredibly hard to come together and what they have built together is awesome.
“To be part of that is great and I’ll take whatever opportunity I’m given to do my bit for the team.”