Walsh committed to Women's Sevens job

by RUGBY.com.au staff

Tim Walsh has juggled the men’s and women’s sevens programs in the last three months but his focus will be all on the women in 2016.

Walsh has been the women’s head coach for the past three years, overseeing their qualification into the 2016 Rio Olympics, and stepped into the interim men’s role earlier this year with the departure of Geraint John.

The women’s side heads into the 2015-16 series ranked third in the world, with four series played ahead of August’s Rio Olympics.

Walsh said he was committed to helping the women’s team continue what they’ve been building.

“I’m the women’s head coach and I have been since 2013 and that’s what we’ve been working towards,” he said.

“We’ve had a couple of successful seasons and our ultimate goal is - we’ve qualified - but our goal is to win a gold medal and perform at this year’s world series and then beyond.”

Walsh said he had no plans to take over the men’s head role full-time in the immediate future, with the 2016 Olympics looming.

“(The move) has been well-supported by the girls but I have no desire to coach the men beyond this Oceania.

“My priority is with the girls and what we’re building.”

Walsh said he had spoken to the women’s team before accepting the short-term expansion of his role and said the sevens program had benefitted from a holistic view of the shift.

“The opportunity to take the men for a short period of time has been great for both programs and I spoke to the girls before accepting it and they were very much on board with it.” he said.

“They want to see the guys qualify and they entrusted with me that I wouldn’t take anything away from the girls program.”

Walsh said he had focused on keeping things as consistent as possible in the interim with the men’s but hoped he had brought a cross a different element as well.

“The girls, we’re a very skilful high-paced team, our point of difference,” he said.

“There are some amazingly talented and skilful players out there so it’s really added a little bit of skill base to it.

“It’s just about maintaining what they’re doing and making sure they’re at peak performance come Saturday."

Walsh said he was confident the best person would be found for the job, the appointment for which will likely be announced early next year.

“It’s just about assessing them and finding out what’s best for the men’s program so hopefully (an announcement) is not too far away but they need to get the right person," he said.