SCRUM Web Editor Gary Heatly speaks to Scott Wight about his new role:
New Scotland Women’s Sevens Head Coach Scott Wight hopes to draw on things he has learnt from coaches during his playing career to help mould his own coaching style going forward.
Wight, the 31-year-old former Melrose man who now stars for Scotland on the sevens World Series circuit, was this week named as the man to lead the national sevens team into this summer’s Rugby Europe Women’s Sevens Trophy events.
The tournaments are in the Czech Republic in June and Hungary in July with the aim of getting promoted to the Grand Prix events for 2018 with good showings.
And he cannot wait to get started with the first training camp for an extended squad this weekend at Oriam in Edinburgh.
“I am passionate about sevens and even if I can pass on some of the things I have learnt that would be great,” he stated.
“I have worked with some top quality coaches in Gregor Townsend and Calum MacRae – plus I have my own experiences to learn from – so I feel I have knowledge to give.
“Mentally, physically the three games in sevens events is tough in a day so that is how we will tailor our training weekends so the women are getting used to that early on.
“This weekend there will be three sessions on the Saturday and three on the Sunday so that they get used to what it is like on a tournament day and factor in recovery time and ‘switch on’ time. We will set the intensity high.”
Wight believes exposure to the abbreviated game at a good level can only help the nation’s best players as the XV-a-side squad continue to make strides forward.
And, with no XV-a-side matches for a few months, all of Scotland’s top talent, including the likes of Jade Konkel, Lisa Thomson and Louise McMillan, are available for selection this summer.
Wight said: “Scottish Rugby have firmly backed the women’s sevens programme.
“Last year it was cut back to prioritise the XV-a-side World Cup qualifiers against Spain.
“However, this year in the summer the sevens programme will develop the players and they will become fitter, gain better game awareness and perform skills under higher intensity before taking that back into the 15s game.
“That can only benefit rugby in this country, sevens is very different from 15s, but long term if we can develop these players and make them more rounded skill-wise that is the aim.
“I believe there is a huge amount of talent in the squad. I would have liked to have been in with the squad more through the 6 Nations, but my own programme did not allow for that.
“I did spent the weekend before the Italy game with them though and Shade Munro has this squad in a very good place and a large number of players will be coming to the first sevens camp this weekend – there is loads of potential to get out of them.
“We then go down to Bisham Abbey to train and play with England and Wales and that will be hard. England have been together, they’re coming off the back of a World Series event in Japan, so it is about explaining to the girls that that’s where we want to be going forward. I am sure we will take a lot out of that.”
Thanks to Scottish Rugby/SNS for the photo
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