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25 January 2002
Well-travelled Southern Cross University sport management lecturer, Rudi Meir, has been engaged as the fitness and skills training coach for the English Rugby Football Union Sevens squad for the Australian leg of the International Rugby Board's forthcoming 'World Sevens' tournament.

The popular seven-a-side concept has produced high-speed games that greatly challenge players' fitness levels. Sevens rugby is played over two seven minute halves with a two minute half-time. It is now played locally on the North Coast as well as at State and international level.

Mr. Meir will be working with England's squad during its preparations for the event, which is to be played in Brisbane on February 2-3. He has worked previously for both the Rugby Union and League codes, taking up short-term training appointments in Australia, South Africa, England and Japan, and establishing ties with some of football's top coaches. In 2001 he worked with local premiership winning Union teams in Ballina and Lennox Head

Recently, Brisbane Broncos Head coach Wayne Bennett invited him to a meeting to discuss the club's plans for the 2002 NRL season. Mr. Meir has also collaborated with top coaches and players in the production of a training CD-ROM called DigiLeague.

"Sevens Rugby is very popular globally and this current series sees 16 teams from around the world competing in a series of legs played in different countries, one of which is Australia", Mr. Meir said.

"The team's coach contacted me last week and as I'm on leave, the timing was perfect. I'll be working on a range of areas relating to ball skills along with offensive and defensive decision making. The team is in one of

four pools of four teams and has to play three games on the first day of the tournament, followed by a number of games on the second day, depending on where they finish in their pool. It's very intense, with excellent ball skills and strong defence being at a premium".

SCU's Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Rickard, said the School of Exercise Science and Sport Management had established a strong reputation internationally for its expertise in the area of coaching and training science for the rugby codes and this latest invitation was "A strong vote of confidence for both the School and the University at large".

For further details, please contact Rudi Meir on 668533224

or Mr Robin Osborne, Office of the Vice-Chancellor,

Phone: (02) 6620 3039 Mobile: 0418 431 484

Email: [email protected]