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Samoa ready for action


samoa sevensPool C: ENG, SAM, KEN, ESP

We profi le the four teams making up Pool C at the Gold Coast Sevens, round 1 of the HSBC Sevens World Series, with key stats on the team's World Series record and a lowdown on the man in charge.

SAMOA Played: 596 Won: 393 (69.94%) Tournaments : 109 Debut : Series 1 - Dubai Highest Score: 85 - 0 v TRINIDAD TOBAGO, Commonwealth Games 1998 Final ranking last season: 4th Coach: Faamoni Lalomilo Formerly the Team Manager, Lalomilo took over the coach's job last season from Stephen Betham, who was himself one of only three coaches to have won a World Series title.

He inherited a strong side of Samoa-based players from Betham, all of whom he knows well, and has not looked to change too much so far. Softly spoken, he has a job on his hands to replace Alafoti Faosiliva, who has gone on to a 15s contract overseas.

ENGLAND Played: 557 Won: 375 (67.32%) Tournaments : 101 Debut : Series 1 - Hong Kong Highest Score: 75 - 0 v SRI LANKA, Dubai 2003 Final ranking last season: 3rd Coach: Ben Ryan Ryan inherited the England Sevens programme from former head coach Mike Friday in 2006 and combines the role with that of National Academy coach.

His first IRB Sevens tournament came in Wellington in 2007, where the team claimed the Plate and it was exactly two years until England won him a first Cup title, Isoa Damu’s late score stealing victory from New Zealand in Wellington. His side also came of age that season under the captaincy of Ollie Phillips, winning in London to finish the Series in third place.

The following season (2009/10) England failed to claim a Cup title and the resulting re-think produced the country’s first full-time Sevens professionals. Cup success was immediate in Dubai, a title they defended last season. For the 2012/13 season Ryan has extended his squad of fulltime Sevens pros to 19.

KENYA Played: 433 Won: 184 (42.50%) Tournaments : 79 Debut : Series 1 - Dubai Highest Score: 59 - 0 v SINGAPORE, Singapore 2005

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Final ranking last season: 12th Coach:
Mike Friday
A former England Sevens captain and head coach, Friday took over in the off season as head coach of Kenya Sevens. As a player he captained England to the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur and to the 2001 Rugby World Cup Sevens in Mar del Plata.

As a coach he enjoyed notable successes, including leading England to four successive Hong Kong Sevens titles (2002-2006), two Dubai titles and the 2006 Commonwealth Games Silver medal.

Joining him on the technical bench is Christopher Brown from New Zealand, who comes on board as Strength and Conditioning coach. Brown will work with Friday and three assistant Coaches, Tito Oduk, Mitch Ocholla and Felix Ochieng.

SPAIN Played: 100 Won: 31 (31.00%) Tournaments : 20 Debut : Series 1 - Punta del Este Highest Score: 38 - 0 v ZIMBABWE, London 2007 Final ranking last season: 14th Coach: Ignacio Inchausti ‘Tiki’, as he is known on the circuit, took charge of Spain Sevens in 2010. Having previously coached at club level, he gained valuable Sevens experience training the women’s side from 2007 and took them to the inaugural Women’s RWC Sevens in Dubai in 2009.

He played for the Spanish national side and was capped in their only ever appearance at a Rugby World Cup, in 1999, before moving into playing Sevens for 10 years at tournaments such as Rugby World Cup Sevens 2001 in Mar de Plata.

Gold Coast (irbsevens.com)

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