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Wales appoint Richie Pugh as head of sevens

By PA

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Richie Pugh has been appointed as the Welsh Rugby Union’s head of sevens. Pugh will lead men’s and women’s programmes as head coach, the WRU said, with Wales returning to the World Sevens Series in January.

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Pugh, who was a member of Wales’ 2009 World Cup sevens-winning squad, moves to the WRU from the Ospreys, where he had a coaching role.

He was also assistant coach of the Great Britain women’s sevens squad at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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WRU performance director Nigel Walker said: “Sevens will be a key part of our strategy for driving standards, growing the performance game and representing Wales on the world stage.

“We are in discussions with our regions and clubs to identify suitable players whose development would benefit greatly from spending time on the sevens circuit.”

Richie Pugh said, “This is an exciting opportunity I couldn’t turn down given my passion for international sevens rugby. I believe sevens offers a unique opportunity to develop players on and off the field given the experiences on offer around the world.

“I feel I’ve developed as a coach having spent two years at the Ospreys, my home region. The experience has challenged me and I’m looking forward to putting those learnings back into our national sevens programmes.

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“For the men the focus will be on re-establishing the programme after the break due to the pandemic and the Olympic cycle.

“With the women’s programme, the aim initially will be to bring a sevens programme back and become as competitive as possible. It will be exciting to work with full-time athletes with a longer term aim of competing on the World Series.

“Ultimately, we want to put the best pathway programme in place that will help develop young players, give them the exposure and experience of being on the world stage and identifying and supporting those that could be future internationals – or future Olympians like Jasmine Joyce.”

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