Jenkins excited for new Sevens start

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Australian Men’s Sevens captain Ed Jenkins is excited to help lead the side into its biggest year yet.

With the announcement of Andy Friend as the side’s new head coach, the team has its first permanent coach since the August resignation of Geraint John.

While he has had little to do with Friend through his career, Jenkins said he and the squad were looking forward to working with him.

“The process took a while because they wanted to make sure they got the right person for the role so happy to see Friendy being appointed,” he said.

“The players are really looking forward to having him coming in and hopefully changing things up quite a bit and really give us a great shot at the Gold medal in Rio.”

In the time since, the team was coached by women’s head coach Tim Walsh and then by team manager and former Wallaby Scott Bowen.

Jenkins said it would be great to have Friend on board for the Olympic season and beyond.

“Over the last few months with the chopping and changing of coaches it has been hard on the players but now we’ve secured Andy Friend it’s going to be great,” he said.

“Not only for the Olympics but also moving forward he has signed a long-term deal.

“I think players that are in the Sevens program at the moment at least know that we’re going to have a head coach there for a long time and it gives the program stability as well.”

While the team is yet to meet Friend, with their new mentor finishing his stint with Japanese side Suntory, Jenkins is excited to hear his plans for the team.

“I was reading an article that he was quoted in saying the Australian sevens team needs a point of difference and I couldn’t agree more,” he said.

“I think if we can sit down and really define what our strengths are, and define what we are as a group and also what we want to head to for Rio, that’d be great.”

The Australian Men’s Sevens team play their next tournament in Wellington on January 29-30, before heading back home for the Sydney 7s in the first weekend of February.