Bowen to coach Men's Sevens for opening World Series rounds

by Staff Writer

Scott Bowen will take over the reins of the men’s sevens team for the opening rounds of the 2015-16 World Series, as the process of selecting a permanent mentor continues.

Bowen will control the team for the Dubai and Cape Town tournaments in December, while a permanent head coaching appointment is finalised.

The former Wallaby took on an expanded role as Sevens performance program manager after the departure of men’s coach Geraint John and will temporarily take on the men’s coaching duties.

He said he was simply focused on carrying on the work that John and interim coach Tim Walsh, who was balancing the men's and women's duties, had done in recent times.

"It’s no different to when Geraint (John) departed that we felt that at the time Tim was the most qualified and best candidate to get the boys through the transition going on," he said.

"We’ve thought again that while the process is still going on for a head coach…it was easier for me to take the boys on for those two tournaments and continue the good work that Geraint and Tim have already put in place.

"It really allows Tim to go back and focus on the women’s program and get them tracking towards Dubai and solely focused on them preparing for Rio where they’re genuine medal chances."

Bowen has previously been a NSW Waratahs assistant and coached Eastern Suburbs in the Shute Shield.

The ARU will be conducting interviews for the permanent position in the coming weeks, in the wake of the side’s Olympic qualification in Auckland on Sunday.

Ben Whitaker,ARU General Manager - Pathways and Performance, said with Olympic qualification now complete, the focus could turn to selecting the right applicant for the job.

“This is a critical appointment for Australian rugby ahead of an important year for the team,” he said.

“We have to ensure we take all the time required to consider applications and select the person to take the men’s sevens team into an Olympic year.

“Now the team has sealed its qualification for the Olympics, we can turn our full attention to the process of selecting the next head coach, a decision that will not be taken lightly."

Bowen picks up the duties from Tim Walsh, who has been balancing both the men’s and women’s roles since Geraint John’s resignation in August.

Walsh will now turn his focus solely to the women’s team as they prepare for Rio.

The first World Series sevens tournament in 2016 is the third round, in Wellington from January 30-31.

Australia’s men finished fifth in the series this season, just outside of the top four teams that automatically won Rio Olympic spots.

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