Greening relishing opportunity with Scotland

(IRB.COM) Monday 8 October 2012
 Greening relishing opportunity with Scotland
Phil Greening has invaluable Sevens experience

Phil Greening arrived in Australia's Gold Coast for the first round of the 2012/13 HSBC Sevens World Series, five years after his last involvement with the sport.

Having acted as assistant coach to the then England coach Mike Friday until 2007 following a reign as captain, Greening was appointed head coach and programme manager for the Scottish Sevens side for the new season and is relishing the opportunity of being involved again.

"It's fantastic, it is something I have been wanting to get back involved with for a while," said the former British and Irish Lion.

"I have been lucky enough to be given another chance. I have been watching from a far and seeing the sport grow and grow, and it is just such an exciting time be involved with Sevens for the next few years.

"There are a lot of the old faces to be honest, the same friends and foes, but what has changed is the profile of the game. It is a global sport now and I think what the IRB has done with the circuit is fantastic."

Scotland were the first team to arrive in Australia ahead of the tournament which takes place on October 13-14 at Skilled Park, the home of the Gold Coast Titans, and Colin Gregor spoke about what Greening has brought to the Scottish team.

An edge 

"He has brought a real enthusiasm to the side," admitted the Scotland Sevens captain.

"He has a bit of an edge about him which we may have been lacking and he has a good knowledge of rugby and Sevens so he has a fresh approach to things. 

"He is excited to be back on the circuit, he had a stint in banking I think but realised rugby was for him.

"He knows a couple of the other coaches on tour and has been giving them a bit of banter in the build up to the tournament, but we will see how he goes on the weekend."

Taking time out of their preparation before Greening pits his wits against defending champions Fiji, hosts Australia and also Tonga on day one, Scotland were joined by Gold Coast-based former Scottish swimmer Gregor Tait on a jet boat excursion.

Tait won two gold and two bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006 and also competed at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics in Athens and Beijing and was on hand to provide invaluable advice to his Scottish counterparts.

The success of the London 2012 Olympic Games was unprecedented, but will also motivate the Scottish players to be at their best when the Commonwealth Games heads to Glasgow in 2014, before the Olympics in Rio in 2016.  

"I was lucky enough to be at the Olympics throughout," added Greening. "Everyone after the Olympics had and still has a buzz.

"There is of course extra pressure with a home Games, but the players know what it takes now and to have the Games in Glasgow is going to be an incredible experience, if with a little extra pressure to perform!

"He [Tait] came out with us and spoke to the players about the commitment and the attention to detail required to be an Olympian, but it is hugely special and you just have to thrive in the expectation and pressure that it brings, and also the excitement."

See Greening's first tournament as Scotland Sevens coach at Skilled Park this weekend by buying tickets from

Gold Coast Sevens

Round 1
11-12 October 2014
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium
City: Gold Coast
Capacity: 27,400

Pool A
Pool B
Pool C
Pool D
  • Fiji v Samoa
  • Fiji Gold Coast Sevens Cup winners
  • Jerry Tuwai - Gold Coast Sevens