Former England Sevens international James Bailey has been added to the England Women’s Sevens coaching team as assistant coach.
Bailey, 33, had an impressive playing career in the Premiership and Top 14 in France with spells at Bristol, Gloucester, London Irish, Lyon and Wasps while also playing for his country for three years on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
Injury forced early retirement and he has since begun his Level 3 RFU coaching qualification, coaching at England Men's Sevens Academy, Jamaica Sevens and also London Irish’s Academy.
An impressive group
The former wing has been immediately impressed by the talent of the England Women Sevens squad, and is excited by the prospect of getting back on the World Series tour as a coach.
“It’s a really impressive group, there are a lot of players who have come through the pathway from the U18s and the U20s sides,” he said.
“The World Series is such an exciting event, and sevens has developed leaps and bounds over the years, especially since I played on the circuit.
“There’s so much going on, the venues, the crowds, the excitement, I can’t wait to get started with the team."
The first leg of this season’s World Rugby HSBC Women's Sevens Series takes place before the men’s tournament in Dubai on 1 and 2 December, with other legs in Sydney, Kitakyushu, Langford and Clermont-Ferrand with a sixth leg still to be confirmed.
With qualification places for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco in 2018 up for grabs in this year’s World Series standings, Bailey believes it is crucial that the players are switched on from the word go.
“It’s vital that we’re switched on from day one and take the correct mind set into the tournament. We’re taking nothing for granted and taking each game as it comes,” he said
“It’s an incredibly important year, we have a young group, but we want to develop so we first qualify and then so that we’re firing on all cylinders in the World Cup year in 2018.”