Ex England rugby 7s captain to work with Sri Lanka in bid to qualify for Rio 2016

Tuesday, 28 August 2012 00:50 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Former England captain Ben Gollings is to work with the Sri Lankan rugby team ahead of its participation in the Borneo Rugby Sevens tournament in Indonesia as the country steps up its preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

The 32-year-old from Cornwall, who is the record points-scorer in international rugby sevens, had hopes of making the Rio 2016 Olympics – where the sport will appear at the Games for the first time since Paris 1924 – himself but was controversially dropped from the set-up last year.

However, he has since taken up a part-time sevens coaching role in the United States and will now be working with the Sri Lankan team ahead of the tournament on September 1-2 in what is a major coup for the nation.

“Gollings is a huge buy and despite the short time he has preparing the side for the upcoming Borneo Sevens, we can consider having him as a massive fillip for the future of Sri Lanka’s sevens rugby,” said Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union secretary, Rizly Illyas.

“The presence of Gollings will help our youngsters hone their skills as we move forward.” Gollings (pictured top) will be assisted by former Sri Lanka sevens player and current Havelock Sports Club assistant coach, Leonard De Zilva, but the Englishman will be primarily in charge.

It follows a storied career for Gollings, who has previously played the 15-man code of the game for English Premiership sides including Harlequins, Newcastle Falcons and Worcester. He has also played for the New Zealand National Provincial Championship for Tasman but it is in sevens where he made his name, appearing in 70 tournaments for England, where he is widely considered the best sevens player the country has produced.