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The six nations are over for another year and the summer is on it's way. It can only mean one thing: tournament time.
And not just any tournament; it's the fast paced, high energy Sevens season, where the more athletic and speedy players use their skills against each other in a flashier, quicker and more highly charged game to the usual 15's game.
These events are ran throughout the summer, usually being whole weekend occasion, where it's play by day, socialise by night. One of the highlights of the summer is the FindRugbyNow 7's tournament, and I recently caught up with its founder, Ellaine Gelman, who began the event 2 years ago in London, as a way of allowing players and fans to enjoy rugby and allow teams, especially women's, to compete at a good standard. Since then, the talent pool has grown wider and wider, and now players from all across the country attend.
As well as this, the FRN 7's teams have welcomed talent from far and wide to open trials for both the men's and women's squads. This year, they have found a gem in newly appointed head coach Drew Fautley, who will hopefully lead both teams to triumph during the summer. Ellaine, also director of FRN, said “His international career has included serving as an Assistant Coach, Manager & Analyst of the USA National Men’s 7s Team, a Coach of the USA National Women’s 7s Team and as a Consultant for Rugby Turkiye Olympic 7s Development. This new coaching team and influx of players will, no doubt, add to the strength of our squad. We are excited to see what this year will bring!”
Following the successes of the men's team in the past few years, one highlight being the match against the National Italian side in the final game of last season, FRN's are pleased to also have Keith Hughes on board. With 25 years experience and as current head coach of the women's rugby team at London School of Economics, it's clear that he can help develop and continue the teams' good form.
The women's team began in 2013, a year after the men's, and have also had their share of achievements. This established team has quickly gained a good reputation after playing across England and abroad, losing only twice to Wooden Spoon and Saracens. To build on this success, FRN have welcomed Andy Franco as a women's coach. Andy currently serves as the Swedish Rugby 7's coach and alongside Drew, will make a great contribution to this squad.
Try outs for both teams will be held several times this summer, hoping to find players with skill, commitment, athleticism and enthusiasm. “The aim is that eventually both the men’s and women’s sides will have two teams - (1) an elite side, which consists of more developed players that have experience competing on the sevens circuit and (2) a development squad, which consists of keen players that are eager to learn and develop into experienced sevens players.”
Both teams will be playing in this years FRN 7's tournament, which looks to yet again improve on the previous years accomplishments for a fun, enjoyable day for the whole family. Ellaine revealed “On the team front, we are hoping that the Army will be making an appearance. We are also looking forward to welcoming some famous England rugby players as our VIP guests.” With a new location for the 2014 event, as well as exciting entertainment, mixed touch rugby, a VIP ticket option, and a chance to raise money for their brilliant charity partner, Scotty's Little Soldiers, this year's tournament is bound to be one of the hottest places to be this summer.
For more information on the tournament, on how to get involved as a player or to discover rugby close to you, visit http://findrugbynow.com, https://www.facebook.com/findrugbynow, https://twitter.com/FindRugbyNow/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org