Scotsman Clark Laidlaw appointed New Zealand Sevens coach

Clark Laidlaw playing for Borders in 2003. Picture: AP
Clark Laidlaw playing for Borders in 2003. Picture: AP
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Former Jed-Forest player
Clark Laidlaw has been appointed coach of the New Zealand Sevens side.

It is the first time in the professional era that New Zealand have handed such a post to a foreigner.

Laidlaw is currently the skills coach with London Irish. He will leave that position to take up his new job on 1 June next year.

Laidlaw, son of former Scotland scrum-half Roy and cousin of current
national team captain Greig, was a Scotland sevens regular from 2001-07 and was assistant New Zealand sevens coach before moving back to the 15-man game.

“I am massively honoured to be coming back to coach a team I have always considered very special,” said the Borderer. “I’m also excited about coaching a team I’ve previously worked with and played against.

“My goal is to develop a world-class programme that sees players peak at pinnacle events. Everything is going to be geared towards bringing home gold from Tokyo in 2020.”

New Zealand finished a disappointing fifth at the Rio Olympics.

Laidlaw has a tough act to follow in Sir Gordon Tietjens, who coached 
the All Blacks Sevens for twenty two years.