Richie Rees believes his recent experience at the Hong Kong Sevens tournament was an important learning curve in his development as a coach.
Rees is currently a transition coach at Cardiff Blues, and also assists backs and attack coach, Matt Sherratt, with the senior side, but joined the Wales Sevens coaching team as a skills coach for the recent World Sevens Series leg at Hong Kong Stadium.
The former Wales scrum-half, who made 100 appearances for Wales’ Capital Region, was also delighted to see Cardiff Blues academy’s Harri Millard and Daf Smith involved in the squad last weekend.
“I was approached by Gareth Williams [Wales Sevens’ head coach] about the possibility of joining the coaching team for the Hong Kong Seve. I jumped at the opportunity to develop and improve both myself, as a coach, and the players in the squad,” said Rees.
“It’s been great to have a lot of the Cardiff Blues boys involved with the sevens side this season, such as Dafydd Smith, Harri Millard and Cam Lewis, and that means that I’ve been touching base with Babs and Richie Pugh.
“To be able to send a couple of the younger boys to join up with the Sevens camp has been great and it plays a huge part in their development.
“You just have to look at someone like Owen Lane who got this experience last year and has now established himself as first choice wing with the senior side this season.
“Personally, it’s been a good experience for myself to work on the skills side of it because it’s my first time working with sevens and it was an exciting opportunity to develop as a coach.
“The skill element is really important to me and something that I have a particular focus on when I coach.
“Hong Kong was certainly one of the best legs I could wish to be involved with and it’s a real good experience for the youngster to be involved in it as well, especially considering the crowds they get there.
“As a player, there were a couple of opportunities where I came close to joining the circuit myself, but it never materialised due to international commitment on the XVs stage."