GRAHAM SHIEL has taken on the role of head coach of the Scotland Women 7s squad. He will be assisted by Elaine Vassie.
Capped 18 times for Scotland at centre, Shiel is currently Stage 2 Skills Coach with the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy, having previously held posts as Scotland 7s Head Coach, Scotland 7s Skills Coach/Analyst, National Academy Manager, and Rugby Development Officer with East Lothian and West Lothian Councils.
The season for the squad begins this month and continues throughout May and June, culminating in Rugby Europe tournaments in the Czech Republic and Hungary. Shiel outlined his focus over the next few weeks.
“It’ll be a combination of skills-based sessions, building on the work Shade Munro and the national fifteens coaching team have delivered, with sevens-specific skills that we’ll need to develop in the lead-up to the tournaments.
“There will be a mixture of one-day camps and weekend camps along with two preparation tournaments.
Paisley born Vassie worked at the RFU in a community rugby and coach development role. In 2009 she moved to National League 1 side Manchester Rugby. Initially recruited as the side’s Assistant Coach, Vassie was soon promoted to Director of Rugby, at the age of 27, becoming the first female and youngest Director of Rugby at that level.
After three years in post, she moved to Italian side DAK Mantova, combining a role with the men’s fifteen side and the ladies’ sevens. In October 2013 Vassie was then recruited by USA side Griffins Rugby, in Texas, as the club’s first full-time Director of Rugby.
Recently returned to Scotland, she took on the role of team manager for Scotland Women, working with the squad throughout the recent 6 Nations, allowing her an insight into the game in Scotland.
“Having lately come back from the USA, where the sport is largely driven by its sevens influence, I’m really looking forward to working in the programme and with Graham,” she said.
Scotland Women 7s 2016
May 27-29: Amsterdam 7s
June 3/4: London 7s
June 16-20: Rugby Europe 7s, Czech Republic
July 7-11: Rugby Europe 7s, Hungary