Gold Coast Sevens Pool D: ARG, WAL, FRA, POR
We profile the four teams making up Pool D at the Gold Coast Sevens, round 1 of the HSBC Sevens World Series, with key stats on the team's World Series record and a lowdown on the man in charge.
Won: 313 (54.62%)
Tournaments : 106
Debut : Series 1 - Stellenbosch
Highest Score: 73-7 v UAE, Dubai 2011
Final ranking last season: 7th
Coach: Andrés Romagnoli
Andrés “Pajaro” (bird) Romagnoli played for Argentina Under 19s and won three caps for Argentina in 2004, a year after his Argentina Sevens debut in Cardiff. In all he played 23 IRB Sevens tournaments between 2003 and 2008, scoring 27 tries, and was involved in Argentina’s first ever tournament win in Los Angeles in 2004. His final tournament as a player was Adelaide in 2008. An assistant coach since 2009, he takes over from Nicolás Fernández Lobbe as Puma Sevens head coach.
Won: 219 (53.68%)
Tournaments : 75
Debut : Series 2 - Dubai
Highest Score: 72 - 0 v SWAZILAND, Commonwealth Games 1998
Final ranking last season: 8th
Coach: Paul John
Having taken over the Wales Sevens coaching reins from big characters such as Dai Rees, Gareth Baber and the late Colin Hillman, one of John's first acts was to lead the country to Rugby World Cup Sevens glory in Dubai in 2009. It was Wales' first ever World Cup win in any team sport. John had inherited a special group of players but managed them superbly and since then has formed a new, younger team, working hard on and off the pitch and improving constantly. A shrewd scout, he possesses a keen eye for talent and has sent the likes of Alex Cuthbert and Harry Robinson onto the test arena from Sevens. John was also a player of note with 10 test caps at scrum-half and the captain of Pontypridd RFC.
Won: 243 (43.78%)
Tournaments : 103
Debut : Series 1 - Dubai
Highest Score: 63 - 12 v CHINESE TAIPEI, Hong Kong 2010
Final ranking last season: 9th
Coach: Frederic Pomarel
Alongside New Zealand's Gordon Tietjens, France's former coach Thierry Janeczek was the longest-serving of all the Sevens coaches, so it was some job to replace him last season. Pomarel took over the reins and, with contracted players, reached a Cup final as early as Dubai where they lost to England. Their form then dipped and he faces a tough task in bringing the best out of them consistently - brilliantly flamboyant one minute and bafflingly poor the next. From modest beginnings in Souillac, Pomarel proved himself and was handed the job of France national women’s Sevens coach and has since made the step up to the men’s, replacing Janeczek.
Won: 106 (36.30%
Tournaments : 55
Debut : Series 2 - Dubai
Highest Score: 50 - 0 v THAILAND, Hong Kong 2010
Final ranking last season: 15th
Coach: Frederico Sousa
For a young man Portugal’s coach Frederico Sousa brings with him a wealth of international rugby experience. The 34-year-old only finished his playing career three years ago before moving into his first coaching role with the Direito Club. He was an assistant coach to the national team before taking over the reins of Portugal Sevens in December 2011 and was in charge when Portugal qualified as a core team at the 2012 Hong Kong Sevens. With 44 caps for the national team, including appearances at RWC 2007 in France, he has also played in two RWC Sevens (2001 and 2005) and captained the side.