GB Sevens: National Lottery funding secured and coaching structure confirmed
Scottish Rugby, the RFU and the WRU can confirm they have secured funding from National Lottery operator Camelot to field a GB Sevens team for the 2021 season ahead of the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The deal has been made possible by an innovative commercial partnership with The National Lottery.
The men’s and women’s GB Sevens teams will compete in the HSBC World Sevens Series in the build-up to next summer’s Olympic Games and then will continue for the climax of the 2021 season post-Tokyo.
The partnership means the GB Sevens teams have the perfect opportunity to build towards striking gold in the delayed Olympic Games. As part of the partnership, The National Lottery will be acknowledged in a variety of ways and National Lottery players will benefit from tickets to events and unique opportunities with the GB Sevens teams.
Charlie Hayter will take the Team Leader role whilst also being an Assistant Coach across both men’s and women’s programmes. Scott Forrest remains Head Coach for the women’s side, having been in lead roles with Scotland Women’s 7s since 2012. Tony Roques will join as Head Coach for the men. Roques brings with him a wealth of knowledge having most recently been an Assistant Coach with the USA Eagles 7s side and prior to that as Assistant Coach to the England Sevens.
James Rodwell, the most capped rugby sevens player of all time and part of the England coaching team since 2018, will complete the coaching set up, assisting across both the men’s and women’s programmes.
Scotland Men’s 7s side will reconvene at the end of the 2021 campaign, when preparations will begin for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Scottish Rugby’s Director of Performance Rugby, Jim Mallinder, said: “The opportunity for our players to be able to put their hands up for potential Olympic selection is something we very much welcome, as part of a GB Sevens squad.
“It is our intention that beyond this season, both of our Scotland 7s programmes remain unaffected by this development and we very much look forward to qualifying for and sending our strongest Scotland 7s squads to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.”
Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “I am delighted to see The National Lottery come forward with such an innovative partnership which will not only support Rugby Sevens as a sport, but also give back to society.”
Nigel Railton, Chief Executive of National Lottery operator Camelot, added: “Every day The National Lottery and its players make a huge difference to communities across the UK – and have been doing so since 1994. This clever partnership demonstrates how by working together we can have a real impact on a sport and boost the chances of gold in Tokyo next summer. The loss of spectators and cancellation of events has had such an impact on various sports I am proud that we are able to support the GB Sevens programme after a difficult year.”
The money for these initiatives is coming from a National Lottery promotional fund. It is not being funded by money allocated for National Lottery Good Causes or by Camelot.