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By ARU Media Unit
Australian Rugby Union today announced Chris Lane had been appointed as the country’s first fulltime National Women’s Sevens Coach and program Co-ordinator for the next two years.
Lane will oversee the sides development in preparation for the defence of Australia’s Women’s Sevens World Championship title in 2013 and the inclusion of Rugby Sevens in the 2016 Olympics.
ARU Managing Director and CEO, John O’Neill AO, said the decision to appoint a fulltime coach to the Women’s program was historic and reflected the growth of Rugby Sevens on the international stage.
“The growth of Rugby Sevens for both the Men and Women around the world as a participation and elite sport has been incredible and that growth has seen it included as an Olympic Sport from 2016,” Mr O’Neill said.
“Appointing Chris Lane as the fulltime National Women’s Sevens coach and program co-ordinator is a reflection of the importance we as an organisation place upon the Women’s Sevens team moving forward.
“While they are the current World Champions, if we want them to continue to compete successfully at the highest level we need to ensure they are provided with a professional coaching framework that will hopefully help them deliver a second World Championship and ultimately an Olympic Gold Medal in 2016.
“I congratulate Chris on his appointment and wish him well at his first tournament in Dubai in a little over a month.”
Lane, who has spent the last three years running ARU’s Pathway to Gold Program in Queensland and in the past 18 months has also looked after the Junior Gold Program, said he was very proud to have been awarded the job.
“It is a real honour to have been selected as the country’s first ever fulltime Australian Women’s Sevens Coach,” Lane said.
“I am really looking forward to the challenge of building a squad that has a strong professional culture both on and off the field.
“In the short term I believe there is a real opportunity to work closely with the Men’s team to tap into their knowledge base to help us improve our skill levels and increase our knowledge of the game of Sevens.
“Obviously my ultimate goal over the next two years is to deliver a second world Championship in 2013, however between now and then there is plenty of work to do to ensure we enter that tournament physically and mentally ready.”
The fulltime coaching position is supported by the Australian Sports Commission as part of the Australian Women’s Sevens program at the Australian Institute of Sport.
Lane will also be responsible for developing and identifying talent during his tenure, a role he is familiar with.
“I’ve been working with ARU’s Pathway to Gold Program helping to identify and develop talent and I’ve been assisting the Men’s and Women’s sides to identify potential talent for the future,” Lane said.
“As it stands we have a Women’s Sevens squad with a good mix of youth and experience, however with every year that passes we will need to ensure we are developing and introducing new players to the game to ensure there is a natural transition from the current to the new generation.
“The relationship we enjoy with Touch Football has delivered some impressive players to us already, including Lizzie Campbell, Emily Cherry and Alicia Quirk, who all impressed in the recent Central Coast Tournament.
“This relationship along with our National Gold programs will ensure there is a constant stream of talented young Women knocking on the door of the National selectors.”
Lane will officially coach the side at their first international tournament in Dubai in early December when the Women join the Men for the second leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
The Australian Women’s Sevens team will also be joined in Dubai by former Wallaroo flanker and Women’s Sevens player, Selena Tranter, who has taken up the role of Team Manager.
The most capped Wallaroo of all time, Tranter appeared at 3 fifteen aside Women’s Rugby World Cups as well the inaugural 2009 Women’s Sevens Rugby World Cup, which was won by the Australian Women’s Sevens team.
Tranter is currently completing her level two and three coach accreditation courses, professional development seminars and a mentoring program as part of the Federal Government’s Sports Leadership Grants and Scholarships program.
The Sport Leadership Grants and Scholarships for Women program is an initiative of the Australian Government that is managed by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) in partnership with the Australian Government Office for Women.
The grants and scholarships provide development opportunities and training for women to reach their leadership potential within the industry as coaches, officials and administrators. The program has been in place since November 2002 and has supported over 16,000 women with a total funding allocation of $3.3 million.
Australian Rugby Sevens proudly supported by the Australian Institute of Sport
The Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens team begins its quest for Olympic qualification in Rio with Dubai first up in the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series in December.