Scottish Rugby have today appointed a highly experienced international sevens specialist as the new head coach and programme manager for Scotland 7s.
Phil Greening, former England 7s assistant coach and England and British and Irish Lions hooker takes up the role with immediate effect following a worldwide recruitment process.
He joins on a three year contract, which takes him up to and beyond the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Greening said: “This is a really exciting time to be joining Scottish Rugby and their developments in sevens rugby. I can’t wait to get started and back onto the circuit.
“I want to cement the Scotland 7s team as one of the core competitors in the abbreviated game and help produce some exciting new Scottish rugby talents ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2016 Olympics.”
Between 2005 and 2007 he was England Sevens assistant coach to Mike Friday, helping them to their highest ever ranking in the HSBC Sevens World Series (second) and a silver medal in the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
Following this he was assistant coach and then head coach at London Welsh between 2008 and 2011. Although living in Singapore, he maintained his links to sevens through this period when he coached Samurai International to victory in the Middlesex International 7s in 2010 and 2011.
Greening follows England team-mate Neil Back (new Edinburgh forwards coach) into the Murrayfield set-up, and Andy Robinson may also have been a fan. Although interestingly Greening was not above a shot across Robinson’s bows when they held the same positions (national coach and Sevens coach respectively) with England.
Scottish Rugby’s director of performance rugby, Graham Lowe, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Phil into this new role.
“He will be a key part of helping us reach our goals at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, and before that at next year’s Rugby World Cup in Moscow. He will also drive our players to stake a claim for inclusion in the Great Britain Sevens team in the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics”.
As well as his duties as head coach, he will be responsible for directing; planning and developing the overall sevens programme in conjunction with key stakeholders and in line with Scottish Rugby’s new Strategic Plan.
Greening’s first competitive outing with the national sevens team will be the opening leg of the 2012/13 HSBC Sevens World Series on The Gold Coast, Australia (Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 October).