Rugby sevens experts intent on teaching sevens the Wight way

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Thirty secondary school children from across the Borders hotfooted it to Philiphaugh on Wednesday for a special skills camp run by rugby sevens specialists Scott Wight and Mark Robertson.

The former Melrose pair now ply their trade around the world for the Scotland seven-a-side squad – and if there’s anything they don’t know about the game, it’s just not worth knowing.

MARK ROBERTSON AND SCOTT TALK TO THE BOYS

MARK ROBERTSON AND SCOTT TALK TO THE BOYS

And they are looking to impart that information to the players of tomorrow.

Wight told us: “It’s basically giving an insight into the game of sevens. We thought it would be a good idea to come back to the Borders and give something back, show them what we are now doing as a job.

“The kids today have participated in some small sided games with some skills and this afternoon they are doing a gym challenge with some speed times.

“I’ve been working on early hand-catching and catching the first receiver. Mark has been doing a bit of speed work. We are trying to give them a bit of a taste of everything.”

Scott Wight and Mark Robertson

Scott Wight and Mark Robertson

And Robertson added: “They seem to be really enjoying it. We’ve fortunately got a really good group, they are all really keen.

“The skills they are practicing here are very important in sevens ... you need to be able to pass with both hands, you need to be able to offload, and your agility and one-to-one skills are so important.

“If they practise these things, they will get better at them and it will transfer over to XVs.

“I think that if you play games with them and everything is a challenge, and you have competition involved all the time, the boys will always buy into that and enjoy it.”

LEARNING RUNNING SKILLS AND CHANGE OF DIRECTION

LEARNING RUNNING SKILLS AND CHANGE OF DIRECTION

The dynamic duo is targeting early secondary school lads with prior experience of rugby.

Wight said: “This is the kind of key age where you learn your skills, we need to get these skills into their game as early as possible so they know what they have to go work on when they go back to their schools and clubs.

“At that age, also, it’s important to keep players’ interest in the game as high as possible, and sevens is a good way to do that.”

Robertson explained: “In the abbreviated game, with fewer players, the ball is in their hands so much more.

“So at this age, it keeps them more interested because they are scoring more tries, they have got more involvement, and they improve because of it.”

Wight and Robertson are looking at branching out to hold similar sessions in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, and in the fullness of time, they hope to be able to hold interdistrict sevens tournaments throughout the summer in the three venues.