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Sevens rugby men could learn from womens

AAP logoAAP 14/11/2016 Adrian Warren

Former Australian men's captain Ed Jenkins believes the men's sevens team may benefit by adopting the more diverse recruitment strategies of the hugely successful women's program.

The women won the gold medal at the recent Olympics and also the 2015-16 World Series.

The men bowed out at the quarter-final stage in Rio, ultimately finishing eighth and placed fourth in the World series.

Jenkins, who stepped down as captain in late October after five years, pointed out the women's program had gone about recruiting a different way.

"It's been interesting he way they've gone about getting some of their talent Jenkins said.

"We just look at 15s players coming through and try and make them transform into good sevens players, they've had a different point of view on that.

"'Walshy' (Australian women's sevens coach Tim Walsh) has done a great job with getting some sprinters through, some great touch players as well.

"I think we've seen that's done them really well over the last few years.

"Maybe if we can adopt some of those principles and offer a bit of variety into our squad, it might help."

The experiment to bring Wallabies Quade Cooper, Nick Cummins and Henry Speight into the squad didn't come off, with none of them going to Rio..

Cummins and Speight had injury issues, but all of those players only became available to play sevens just before or during the 2015-16 World Series, well under 12 months before the Olympics.

"The transition period I think needs to obviously extend if they want to make that move," men's club captain Lewis Holland said.

"If they gave themselves time they could become sevens players."

The men's team will go through a transitional period this season, with several players leaving the program post-Olympics.

"We've struggled over the past few years with injuries throughout the year, so if we can build up that player pool coming through, I think that will be a big way in moving forward," Jenkins said.

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