One of the most experienced coaches in the Sevens game, Ric Suggitt is relishing his time in Moscow this week in the lead up to the Rugby World Sevens World Cup.
Suggitt took over at the helm of USA women’s Sevens two years ago and has overseen the transition of the team from an amateur to a professional programme, with the top players now based fulltime in Chula Vista.
With previous experience coaching the national men’s and women’s sides in Canada, he is thoroughly enjoying his work with USA.
“I am loving it. This week being here in Moscow is a pleasure. I have been to a few World Cups and I am just as excited about this one as I was about my first. We are really pleased with the facilities and the fields here and now that the players have recovered from jet lag they are starting to train very well.”
With Spain, Fiji and Brazil in their pool, Suggitt is taking nothing for granted though his side will be favourites to come out on top, having finished a solid fourth in the recent World Series.
“We have to get it right on the day. Wales are a great example in the men’s team when they won the World Cup. They won the competition that mattered and that is what we are focused on. When you are looking our pool it is not easy. When you think of Brazil and know that they will bring a lot of passion. They are good side who are well drilled and we don’t expect that to be easy. Fiji are an unknown quantity. Nobody really knows what to expect there. They have a new coach and he will add some structure to them.”
“Spain are a big rival of ours. Every game we have played against them has come down to the last second and I don’t expect anything less from them again in our third pool game.”
Suggitt has been delighted with the progress of the Women’s Sevens game not just this season but also since the last World Cup.
“The women’s game has been great this year. It has grown and grown in size, in ability and in tactics. It is going to get better too and I am really excited for this weekend. In the last four years it has become almost a different sport. No discredit to that tournament because 2009 had some great rugby, but the investment from the IRB and the unions themselves, means the standard has shot up.”
“Coming here what is great is that I think any of the top ten teams could win it. I look at what Russia have done with Pavel and how much they have improved and he is so passionate with them. You look at what John Tait has done with the Canadian side and you look at what Barry Maddocks has done with England and they are all improving all the time. We need to play our best rugby when we come up against those sides. It’s going to be great.”
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