You are here
As the USA 7s team reunites to prepare for the Tokyo 7s and Hong Kong 7s, much, much change is in the air.
Head Coach Matt Hawkins has been, as have his predecessors, essentially alone in his quest to get the team into the upper echelon (where they are not at the moment). But now, with Alex Magleby brought in to the help with the pipeline (and some fundraising), and with Richie Walker, Andre Snyman, Waisale Serevi, and Ben Gollings all involved now to handle skills, defense, and kicking, things are different.
"The goal is to have these guys come in for a few days when they are able to come," said Hawkins. "And then we evolve to have them coming for a longer period in our preseason to help really build the foundation. But more than that, they are a brains trust. They are a technical group I can reach out to, chat to. They can give me their thoughts, but those thoughts are based on a knowledge of where we want to go. You can look at a game or a video and that's nice, but if you don't know the game plan, it's hard to give constructive criticism."
Hawkins said he has always stated that he's not the be-all expert on everything, and he knows the game is still changing, so he needs people to bounce ideas off, and people to give more ideas.
"I want to surround myself not only with good players, but good coaches and good people," said Hawkins. "You look at the professional teams in any sport and they have specific position coaches and coaches for specific skills. Rugby is moving that way. There are elements of the game I am really good at coaching, and some elements others are better than me - I've never been a kicker so why would I coach kicking? It's about growing our knowledge base, and my job is to see the overall picture."
That picture is getting some new light shed on it from new directions, and most think that is good news for the program.