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York student set to represent Jamaican rugby side

A student from the University of York is flying out to the Cayman Islands to play for Jamaica in a major international rugby tournament.

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Image: Petroc Taylor
Image: Petroc Taylor

A student from the University of York is flying out to the Cayman Islands to play for Jamaica in a major international rugby tournament.

Conan Osborne, a 20-year-old third-year undergraduate studying politics and international relations, will represent the Caribbean island in the Stepping Stones North American & Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) Rugby Sevens on the 9th and 10th of November.

The NACRA 7s act as a qualifier for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the CASCO Games in Mexico and the HSBC World Sevens Series Hong Kong tournament - all taking place in 2014.

And while the rest of the Jamaican squad has been in training for some time now, Conan will meet his team-mates for the first time the day before the tournament begins.

Conan, who grew up in Kent and has only been to Jamaica once in his life, said: "The whole thing still seems quite surreal as it's happened quite suddenly. It's really good to get international honours and I'm very excited about flying out to Grand Cayman.

"While the rest of the Jamaican team know each other and have been training together, it was too expensive for me to join them. Instead, the head coach has been sending me videos of set plays and kept me updated about the focus of training.

"I wasn't sure I would be able to make it to the Cayman Islands and there was talk of me joining the team at the Commonwealth Games stage. However, sponsorship from the University of York and Tactical Enterprise Ltd, providers of VIP protection, has made it possible to join the team now, which is fantastic."

Conan is an integral part to UYRUFC's firsts XV side, playing predominantly as a winger but the versatile back can also play at full-back and outside centre. He was part of the team's campaign to get into the BUCS Premier League for this season, whilst he also scored two tries for York in their 57-14 smashing of Lancaster at Roses in the Huntington Stadium back in May.

A delighted UYRUFC President, Tom Chadwick, told Nouse: "It's fantastic news that one of UYRUFC's very talented players can make the step to an international standard and one we very much wish him luck with.

"Our club always tries to offer the highest standard of training possible, and it's a great compliment to the club that Conan's talent has been able to progress to a level befitting of the international stage.

"It's natural that we would love to keep him but I know Conan has planned his trip in order to miss as little training and fixtures as possible. We look forward to welcoming him back and hope that many others both now and in the future can follow in his footsteps and represent their country."

Outside of the university he also plays for the Marauders Academy on the Elite Seven circuit, and has turned down an offer to play on a semi-pro contract.

While the USA, Canada and Mexico are expected to dominate the NACRA tournament, Jamaica is hoping to match last year's success by qualifying as the top Caribbean side.

Conan, who will be the only Englishman on the Jamaican team, will have the support of his father Dwight at the tournament. Conan's grandparents on his father's side were born in Jamaica, which means Conan qualifies to play for the national squad.

Keith Morris, Head of Sport at the University of York, said: "We aim to support any aspiring sportsmen and women who come to the University, and as one of our sport scholars, Conan will continue to get our full support to make the most of this fantastic opportunity."

Although he admits that his ultimate ambition is to go into banking, he is considering a year out playing rugby next year in Australia, whilst he also has the 2016 Olympic Games in his sights.

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5 Comment

Joe Wareing Posted on Wednesday 30 Sep 2020

I should be able to play for Jamaica because I am sick mad at sports, especially rugby, but also volleyball and ultimate frisbee. I can also tie my own shoe laces all by myself (and do other stuff ;D). I am not a bad chef and can count to one hundred.

thats what i call mad skills.

don't sell me any drugs because i will say no.

Until next time, tatty bye! xxxxxxxx


Conan's biggest fan Posted on Wednesday 30 Sep 2020

Oh Conan! That picture of you makes you look so dreamy...


Will Sharp Posted on Wednesday 30 Sep 2020

Wish I was playing for Jamaica. Pretty sure I'm the most Jamaican rugby player in the firsts as well.


Bale Posted on Wednesday 30 Sep 2020

I hope Conan's better at 7s than he is at chopping.


cliff collins Posted on Wednesday 30 Sep 2020

Well done conan,wish you all the success you deserve


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