Wight lends sevens knowledge to Rwanda

A partnership which was honed during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow is bringing new rugby insight to a central African country.

Scott Wight in action for Scotland 7s

And the man who will be at the forefront of support to help Rwanda qualify for future seven-a-side competitions at Commonwealth and Olympic Games is the captain of the Scotland 7s team, Scott Wight.

Wight, 30, a product of the Melrose club where sevens originated, will spend a week in Rwanda at the end of this month assisting the Rwanda Olympic Committee with talent identification and specific sevens coaching workshops.

The trip has been made possible with the involvement of East Lothian Council and Scottish Rugby.

Through the Support a Second Team initiative at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, East Lothian was linked with Rwanda and hosted representatives of their Games team for a pre-competition training camp in July 2014.

That spawned a partnership, which has also involved sportscotland, and saw the Rwanda national football team train at Meadowmill, near Prestonpans, last summer.

Now, Scottish Rugby is offering further assistance to the partnership, having given its blessing to a request from East Lothian Council and the Rwanda Olympic Committee to bolster their rugby sevens programme. 

Scotland 7s head coach Calum MacRae said: “Scott will be in Kenya to play for an invitational team at the Safari Sevens later this month.

“That will give him and other members of our sevens squad, Nick McLennan, James Fleming, Dougie Fife and James Johnstone, the opportunity of some game time before the HSBC World Rugby Sevens series resumes in December.

“The week after the Safari Sevens, Scott will be in Rwanda and it will be a great opportunity for him to broaden his coaching experience.

"It's an important element of our squad's ethos that we use every chance to develop both professionally and personally and this is a golden opportunity for Scott."

Wight, was captain of Scotland 7s last season having played at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and led Scotland to their first ever tournament win on the World Series circuit, when they defeated South Africa, 27-26, in the Cup final at London 7s last May. He finished the season as his side's top points scorer, with a tally of 226 points, accumulated through eight tries and 93 conversions. 

He said:

“I’m going out quite open-eyed as I’m not really sure what to expect.  But one thing is certain, for a country like Rwanda to recognise sevens in this way just shows the profile the sport has right now what with the recent Olympics in Rio and the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast and the Sevens World Cup in San Francisco, both in 2018.

“The growth of sevens is just non-stop.”