With the Australian Men's Sevens side set to take the field at the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow starting tonight (AEST), current Australian Women's Sevens Head Coach Tim Walsh knows all about what it means to compete at the event.
Walsh was part of the Australian Men's Sevens team that competed at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester 12 years ago and rates the event as one of the highlights of his playing career.
"It was a great honour to compete at the Commonwealth Games. I guess the difference between the Games and a World Series event is that you're a team within a team. There are different athletes around and it is different. It was a fantastic experience and a great honour."
In 2002 Walsh was part of the team that included current Queensland Reds coach Richard Graham but lost in the Quarter-Finals to Samoa 12-10.
"There were some great memories. On the field we didn't have the greatest tournament so that was the biggest disappointment. But meeting the Royals was something else. I know [current Sevens captain] Ed Jenkins had lunch with the Queen on Thursday and I was fortunate enough to have a reasonably lengthy chat with her too. I guess there are a few distractions but the athletes there are all trained to get the job done.
"I really think the boys can go well in Glasgow and do better than what they achieved in Delhi four years ago. They finished strongly in the IRB World Series and have had a change of coach who has brought in fresh ideas, something different. From what I have seen, and I have been involved a bit with them, their preparation has been really good.
"I think they've got a pretty good draw and it'll be interesting to watch. But Rugby Sevens can be unpredictable and it is a unique game. One mistake and it can be all gone. But if the boys stay focussed and I'm sure they will, then I think they can come home with a medal."
Australia's campaign kicks off with a tie against Sri Lanka tonight at around 7.50pm, followed by Uganda at approximately 10.10pm. Geraint John's side play old rivals England in the final match of Pool D at around 6.45am on Sunday morning (all times AEST). All games will be broadcast on Network Ten, with Gordon Bray and Matt Burke calling the action.