John Dalziel is one of Scotland’s most highly regarding homegrown rugby coaches and he cannot wait to work with the national sevens team during what looks like being a very exciting 2017/18 campaign.

Dalziel, the former Borders, Gala and Melrose player, earned caps in the abbreviated form of the game and now he has been tasked with building on all of the good work that predecessor Calum MacRae did in the Head Coach role.

In the last two seasons the Scots have won the season ending Twickenham Sevens on the World Series circuit while in 2016/17 they finished seventh in the standings overall.

Last season Dalziel, who cut his coaching teeth with Melrose, started the campaign with London Scottish as Forwards Coach and ended it back in his old role as Head Coach of the Scotland under-20s.

With the latter he had great success at the World Championships in Georgia and now he is preparing the sevens squad for a long season of 10 World Series events, a Commonwealth Games in Australia and a World Cup in America.

“Huge year for sevens”

Speaking this week after Team Scotland confirmed the first tranche of team sports set to compete in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games next April, Dalziel said:  “This is a huge year for me and the sevens guys with the World Series, the Games and a World Cup coming up.

“Sevens was a huge part of my own career as a player and I was lucky enough to play for Scotland at this level.

“It was six a few years ago, but I have always loved it and getting the change to be head coach is something very exciting, a great honour.

“Being able to integrate with Calum [MacRae] and the squad last season was good and he has left things in a good place.

“The core group have a lot of quality and they are good and consistent so I will be looking to these guys to move things on. There is definitely room to improve.

“As a rugby player for these guys it can’t get any better, the places they get to see and then a Games in Australia and a World Cup and San Francisco it is amazing.

“It takes a lot of dedication and hard work to compete on this stage month in and month out, but from I have seen from these boys so far they are certainly not shy of hard work and we are exciting to build towards the first events later in the year.”

The 12 tournament season for Dalziel, skipper Scott Riddell and the players begins in December in Dubai.

John Dalziel is pictured with Scott Riddell by Jeff Holmes

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