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Saracens approach a refreshing change

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Change of scene: Sean Vine, the Saracens strength and conditioning coach, puts Bermuda's players through their paces (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The Bermuda rugby sevens team were put through their paces by members of the Saracen’s coaching staff as they prepare for the Serevi RugbyTown Sevens tournament next week.

Two academy coaches and the strength and conditioning coach from the Aviva Premiership side are on the Island working with Bermuda’s players, offering a unique boost and a different perspective.

“Obviously it’s a great boost to have those guys here,” Tom Healy, Bermuda’s player-coach, said.

“It gets a little monotonous listening to the same ideas from the same voice, which is kind of what we’re up against here in Bermuda, given that we don’t have the depth to make changes and bring in new ideas on a regular basis.

“To have these guys come on board and get their take on the game and the different quirks as they see it, it’s pretty refreshing.”

Bermuda won the Shield division at the RugbyTown Sevens tournament last year and will look to follow that up again this time around.

“Things are coming together,” said Healy, who plays scrum-half. “We’re looking to better our performance from last year. It’s going to be tough, with the quality of the players we’re up against.

“We’re pretty much playing the United States Olympic feeder teams, so the standard is very high, but that’s where we want to be at some point.

“We’re looking and hoping to come away with some silverware.”

Rugby sevens is a faster-paced variation on the traditional 15-a-side version of the game. It features two seven-minute halves and is an exciting blend of speed, stamina, and power.

“We’re doing drills for generic skills that could be applied across all versions of the game, 15s and sevens,” Healy said. “[The Saracens coaches] are teaching us some running mechanics and really breaking the game down into finer points in a way that we’re not really used to in an amateur style.”

Serevi, a Seattle-based company hosting the tournament, has sent players and coaches to Bermuda on a consistent basis to continue developing the sport.

The tournament, which starts next Friday in Denver, will feature US teams including all five military branches and a team of collegiate all-stars, as well as sides from Bahamas and Mexico.

Best foot forward: Healy takes part in a drill at Police Field (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Saracens training Bermuda 7s rugby team. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)