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2002 (January/February) Invited skills coach - England 7's Squad,IRB World Sevens Series, Brisbane, Australia


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I was invited by England 7's Head Coach, Joe Lydon to work with him and his squad during the Australian leg of the 2002 IRB's World Sevens Series held in Brisbane.

My role was to simply help prepare the squad for the tournament, along with Joe and Assistant Coach Mike Friday. This involved taking skills sessions and general physical training in the week leading up to the first day of the competition and helping with training and match recovery strategies. Sevens is very different, in tactical terms, when compared with the 15-man version of the game. Games are played over two halves each 7 minutes in duration with a 2 minute half-time. The play is very frantic and intense with players having to be extremely fit and possessing high levels of skill. There's a lot of space to defend and conversely there's a lot of pressure on the players' passing skills.

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The 2002 tournament had 16 teams from around the world competing in one of 4 pools each consisting of 4 teams. England won their first two Pool games against Tonga and Canada and were beaten in their last game against South Africa. As a result we still made it to the quarter finals (final 8) and played Australia (who went on to win the tournament beating New Zealand) on day two but were beaten 29 to 12. We then played Fiji for a place in the Plate Final but were beaten in extra time.

It was very hot and humid in Brisbane and the England boys did very well in some difficult conditions. The second day performances were marred by injury and illness but everyone produced a great performance.

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