The team Belgium Rugby Sevens was at Browns Sports Resort, in Vilamoura, Portugal to prepare for the European Championship, 5 to 6 June 2021, Lisbon.
The Head Coach Romain Huet answered to 10 questions.
01 | What is the best part of being a coach?
The best thing as a coach is to see people develop.
02 | What is the most challenging part of being a coach?
To get all the individuals working as a unit and respect each other.
03 | What skills do you think is important in a player, apart from the physicality?
◤ The right attitude;
◤ The mindset;
◤ The will to train and improve each day.
04 | Give me three keywords that describe your team?
It will be more than three words:
◤ strong team culture,
◤ strong belief in what we are doing.
05 | Mention one great moment in your career?
It is not only about winning and achievement.
A great moment for me was, an example, 5 years ago, when I coached a French amateur team, after the last game.
After a 9 months long season, we lost a play-off game. When we gathered all on the pitch, I could look back on the pathway. I could feel satisfied of all the hard work we had done together and looked forward to the next challenge.
The adventure and the team collective means more to me than only an achievement.
06 | Mention one worse moment in your career?
Players that had big injuries.
There is nothing worse than that. For the player and for us in the team.
07 | Mention three persons in the sport world that you admire or/and have as a role model?
They are all ex players working as coaches, that I had the pleasure to work with and been inspired of.
◤ Marc Alexandre*, Judo, who coached the French Judo team,
◤ Vital Heynen*, Volleyball which I’ve been lucky to work with.
◤ Last but not least Tana Umaga*, Rugby. I’ve worked in New Zealand in his former Rugby Union team, Counties Manukau.
All three are very successful but also very humble people and that is what I admire mostly.
* Marc Alexandre — Individual Gold and Bronze Olympic Medals as an athlete.
* Vital Heynen — WC Bronze with Germany and WC Gold with Poland.
* Tana Umaga — Player for the All Blacks, NZ. 74 Caps and 180 points for All Blacks 1997 - 2005. Captain the team 2004 – 2005. Today is a defence coach for the Super Rugby team, The Blues, New Zealand.
08 | What advices would you give to someone that just started as a coach?
Be patient, be passionate, listen and stay close to your players. You will learn more from them than you expect.
When it is training or match on the pitch, we all have our clear roles. Outside the pitch, we are all equal team members. This does not mean that a coach makes friendship with players. It is just to create an environment where people are feeling free and are encouraged to communicate with each other no matter what role you have in the team.
09 | If you would be able to decide, are there anything you would change in the Rugby 7's?
The most important thing that I feel must be changed in international Women Rugby 7's, to develop our sport, is more cooperation and exchange between all national teams.
This is not only about playing matches. This is about also training together, exchange ideas etc.
We are doing this today, but it is too few teams. We need all teams to be aboard on this idea including the top teams. Everyone will win on this, and so will the sport itself. So the initiative has to come from maybe World Rugby, Rugby Europe?
10 | How has your experience been at Browns?
It is not our first time here, and it is definitely not our last. It's been great.
Everything works very smoothly. We can work without any disturbance.
The food is great and the facilities all-on site save us much time.
The pitch is amazing which is important for us since Rugby 7's is a high intensive sport and for this you need a quality pitch to train on.
The players enjoy it here. After the hard trainings, they have easy access to relaxing areas for recovery and team bounding. Simply, it feels like home.
I have told others that when you go here for a camp, you just get off the plane in Faro, Browns pick you up and in approx. 20 minutes you are at the resort with all facilities on site.
I have been on camps where we had 10 minutes one way to the pitch, and it may not sound that much but with two sessions per day only the travel time is an hour, so we much appreciate that here, at Browns, the facilities are all-on site.