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Head Coach, WO1 Paul Willison (RAMC), is relishing the challenge that will be posed to the Army Women’s Sevens team when they head to Bournemouth this weekend.

This weekend’s tournament is the start of a new era for the team, on and off the pitch, with WO1 Willison new into the role as Head Coach, and several new players having been drafted into the training group.

The recent trials saw a dozen new players be added to the player pool after a camp which included conditioning touch games, fitness testing and full contact matches to gauge skills in a game scenario.

“I was impressed at the high skill level of rugby being played at a pace and tempo that can only be maintained in the Sevens game,” says WO1 Willison. “This gave me and the other coaches plenty to think about for team selection for the Bournemouth Sevens festival.

“The trials were a great success, bringing some new talented players from across the Army and mix with current Army players. Chickerell Camp welcomed us and was a perfect location for large numbers to bond.”

A squad of 14 has gathered together this week for training in Portsmouth before the Women’s team begins its season at the world’s largest sports and music festival, the first of seven scheduled tournaments that will stretch across the country, from Edinburgh to the Isle of Wight.

“This week’s camp will give the coaches time to instil the style of rugby we would like to play, and focus on set plays,” WO1 Willison added.

“We look forward to Saturday, which will be a challenge. We are in the Elite competition on the day with some professional teams, but it will not be a challenge that the players will not be prepared or ready for!”

Ticket information for the Bournemouth Sevens Festival is at

Words © New Dogs, Old Tricks

Header and featured images – Alligin Photography © Lee Crabb