Scott Wight, the new head coach of the Scotland Women’s Sevens side, believes exposure to the abbreviated game can only help the nation’s best players as the XV-a-side squad continue to make strides.
Wight, the 31-year-old former Melrose and Glasgow stand-off, who now plays for Scotland on the sevens World Series circuit, was yesterday 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, 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.
A wider squad will meet up for a training camp at Oriam in Edinburgh this weekend and 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 Six 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 [head coach of the women’s 15-a-side team] 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.”
Wight hopes to draw on things he has learnt from coaches during his playing career to help mould his own coaching style.
“I am passionate about sevens and even if I can pass on some of the things I have learnt that would be great,” he said.
“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 that I have knowledge to give.”