The team

The Next Gen team

The Next Generation Sevens team

Lead Coaches

Mike Friday - USA

Mike Friday – London & South East

Mike is renowned as one of the best 7’s coaches in the world. He played professionally until retirement in 2002 having played for London Wasps, representing England A and The Barbarians but was renowned as one of the first specialist England 7’s players making his debut in 1996 going on to captained the side at the 1998 Commonwealth Games and the 2001 World Cup. Mike transition into international 7’s coaching was seamless and he is England 7’s most successful coach to date, creating a legacy that was recognised as one of the best in the world winning 10 titles, including an unprecedented 4 Hong Kong titles in a row and also leading England 7’s to their only medal (Silver) at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Most impressively his 7’s legacy pathway assisted 45 players to go on and achieve full international honours during his coaching tenure between 2001-2006. More recently he masterminded the rise of Kenya 7’s to become a world force in the game taking them to the Top 4 in the World in 2012/13 and the Rugby Sevens World Cup Semi Finals in Moscow. As USA 7s Head Coach since 2014 he guided the States to their first ever HSBC World Series Cup win at Twickenham in 2015 enroute to back-to-back top six series finishes. He steered the USA through Olympic qualifying and led the team at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016.

James Rodwell - Olympics

James Rodwell – Midlands

One of England’s all time leading appearance makers in sevens, James earned his first cap for England at the Dubai Sevens in 2008 and has gone on to represent his country on more than fifty occasions on the IRB World Series.

His career has seen him captain his country, as well as represent England at the Rugby Sevens World Cup in 2009 and 2013 and the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and 2014, and was part of the silver medal winning Great Britain team at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Phil Greening - USA

Phil Greening – North

A former Gloucester, Sale Sharks and Wasps Hooker, Phil was capped by England on 24 occasions, representing his country at the 1999 World Cup and being selected for the British & Irish Lions tour of Australia in 2001. During his club playing career he won three Premiership titles, two European Cups, to go with a Grand Slam and Six Nations crown with England. He also captained the England 7s team and was part of the Commonwealth Games squad in 2002.

Having retired from the game Phil became Assistant Coach to Mike Friday for England 7’s and more latterly he was the Head Coach for Scotland 7’s. He has also coached London Welsh and Plymouth Albion, and is currently back assisting Mike Friday with USA 7’s.

Rob Thirlby

Rob Thirlby – South West

Rob enjoyed a playing career that included successful spells with Saracens, Bath and Gloucester, along with making 35 appearances for England 7s on the IRB Sevens World Series. He was the only man to represent England at both the 2001 and 2005 Rugby Sevens World Cups in Argentina and Hong Kong respectively, and was also part of Joe Lydon’s England squad for the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002.

Paul John

Paul John – Wales

A World Cup winner as Head Coach of the Welsh side that clinched the trophy in Dubai in 2009, Paul is a former Cardiff and Pontypridd scrum-half who earned ten caps for Wales during his playing career, making his debut against Tonga in 1994. A former PE teacher, he has coached at Pontypridd and as part of the WRU National Academy, and is currently Backs Coach for Cardiff Blues.

Colin Gregor

Colin Gregor – Scotland

A former Scotland 7s captain, Colin made his debut in 2003 and earned 58 caps for Scotland representing his country at three Rugby World Cup Sevens and two Commonwealth Games, captaining the side between 2009 and 2014. He became only the eigth player, and the first Scot, in World Sevens Series history to score more than 1,000 points, eventually reaching 1345 points by the time he retired in 2015.

Assistant Coaches

Tom MitchellTom Mitchell

Current England 7’s captain, playmaker Tom was the top point scorer in the HSBC Sevens World Series in 2013 with 358 points. A former Oxford University Blue he also represented England Students and captained Team GB to an Olympic silver medal in Rio in 2016.

Ollie Phillips

Ollie is a former England 7’s player who made his debut in 2005 who went onto captain his country at 7’s and was named IRB World Series 7’s player of the year in 2009 playing his last tournament for his country in 2013.

Dan Caprice

Former England 7’s who made his debut in 2008 and was renowned on the circuit as a player with real X factor and proper naughty feet. Dan played his last tournament in 2011 to take up an opportunity to play at Biarritz in the Top 14.

dannorton-gbDan Norton

Performances while at Hartpury College earned Dan a professional contract at Gloucester, before spells at Moseley and Bristol. Since 2010 he has focused on sevens and has become prolific try scorer – he is currently fifth on the all-time list of try scorers on the IRB World Series and was part of the silver medal winning Great Britain team at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

markrobertson-gbMark Robertson

Current Scotland 7s Centre/Wing international with more than 30 caps and nearly 60 tries and 300 points to his name. Played for Border Reivers and Edinburgh Rugby, as well as earning recognition with Scotland A. Won a silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics as part of Team GB.

Simon HuntSimon Hunt

Another who has stepped seamlessly into coaching, Simon is a former England 7’s player who combined playing sevens for England between 2000-2012 with playing fifteens for London Irish, Sale Sharks and Bristol.

Luke TreharneLuke Treharne

A world title winner with Great Britain Students at the World Student Games in 2012, Luke has captained Wales on the HSBC World Series and was part of the Welsh Commonwealth Games squad in Glasgow in 2014. He was also a travelling reserve for the Team GB squad at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Scott RidellScott Riddell

Current Scotland 7s international who has represented his country at two World Cup 7s and Commonwealth Games and has amassed nearly 40 caps for his country. Played his club rugby for Stewart’s Melville FP.

polaroid-nickwakelyNick Wakley

Described as one of the best young coaches around, Nick is a former Wales 7’s player, who also played for Cardiff, Ebbw Vale, Sale, Doncaster and Connacht before moving into coaching with Samurai 7s and Newport Gwent Dragons. Currently Head Coach of the Wales national Women’s Sevens squad, as well as being Backs Coach for the WRU Women’s Fifteens programme.

polaroid-chrisbrownChris Brown

Kiwi born, Chris is currently USA 7s Assistant Coach and Head of Strength & Conditioning at USA Rugby. One of the leading experts in Rugby Sevens focused fitness, he has also worked around the world in rugby, cricket, cycling and netball environments.

polaroid-peterrichardsPeter Richards

A former England Fifteens and Sevens international Peter played for London Irish, Harlequins, Treviso, Bristol, Wasps and Gloucester and was part of the England squad that reached the final of the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France. He had three years on the World Sevens Series circuit with England between 2004-2006 including winning the famous Hong Kong Sevens.

Consultants

Terry Sands

Terry Sands – Programme Consultant

One of the most experienced and successful sevens experts in the UK, Terry is a familiar face within the rugby sevens world. Having put together a team to take part in the Amsterdam Sevens in 1996, he has spent nearly twenty years building one of the powerhouses of the game – Samurai International RFC. Today they are recognised around the world for being one of the most successful invitational teams.

Having been part of the England A (Saxons) management team, as well as England 7s Team Manager at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, and more recently Kenya Team Manager at the 2013 Rugby World Cup 7s, Terry has a passion for developing young players and vast experience of Rugby Sevens around the globe. He is currently Tournament Director for the hugely successful GKIPA7s at Bury St Edmunds and Managing Director of Samurai Sportswear.

Chris Jones

Chris Jones – Operations Consultant

Chris is an independent rugby professional delivering rugby programmes in infant, primary, secondary and special needs schools in South East London. As well as having delivered projects on behalf of both the RFU and the London Borough of Bexley he also manages multi-sport and elite rugby coaching camps for junior players in the school holidays and runs a toddler rugby playgroup called “Rugby Pirates”.

Chris is currently completing his RFU Level 3 badge and has a Professional Certificate of Education. After a playing career that saw him play more than a century of games for Sidcup as well as spells in New Zealand and China, Chris coached at Blackheath before returning to Sidcup in a coaching capacity.

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We believe that Next Generation Sevens is a brilliantly simple concept.polaroid-mikefriday

We have brpolaroid-pauljohnought together the very best coaches in the game to deliver elite Rugby Sevens coaching to the next generation of Olympians.

With Rugby Sevens set to explode across the globe with it’s Olympic introduction here’s a chance for every player in the country to work with the best coaches at our regional centres.

As well as elite coaching every player will leave our courses with their core skills and conditioning tested to the limit having gained an understanding of the demands needed to be the very best and what it takes to get there.polaroid-jamesrodwell-

Every player from every club in every region is invited to get involved. You don’t need to be an elite age player to join but will need the desire to work hard and be cpolaroid-grahamshielhallenged.

The development model is a four year ongoing spiral of developing technical core skills to the highest level providing the foundation on which advanced tactical understanding and elite performance can be built.

The first Sevens Foundation Course takes place on Wednesday 18th February at Blackheath - for more download-buttoninformation download the course brochure .