July 13, 2020
Craig Wilson was born in England and is currently the men's and women's Head Coach at Yale University. Wilson was internationally capped for the Hong Kong National Team and has represented professional academies at Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints. He has played in both the Scottish and Hong Kong premiership and coached the India National Team at both XV’s and sevens.
Frankie played an incredible 68 Sevens World Series tournaments consecutively. In this show, Frankie shares what happened behind the scenes and discussed the people that helped along the way. Frankie is now the Head of 7s at the Stellenbosch Rugby Academy and helps nurture the next crop of world-stars.
Rugby Wisdom Podcast
Craig Wilson:Thank you for tuning into Rugby Wisdom in 3 with me, Craig Wilson. This is the impactful podcast that does not impact your time. On today’s show, I’m joined by Frankie Horne. Frankie represented South Africa at 68 tournaments and is regarded as one of the best sevens players of his generation. Frankie is now the head sevens coach of Stellenbosch Rugby Academy, and is tasked with preparing the next generation of elite sevens players.
Frankie, welcome to the podcast.
Frankie Horne: Yeah, Craig. Thank you very much.
Craig Wilson: Look, I had the pleasure of watching you for many years at Hong Kong, and it was awesome to see the physicality, but also the high skill level and tactical analysis you brought to the sevens game, and you also showed remarkable durability to play 68 tournaments over eight years. I just wanted to know what you did behind the scenes to ensure you kept a world class standard at every tournament.
Frankie Horne: Yeah. I think we just had top quality staff from all top to bottom. Good coaches, good S&C guys, just all around. I think a guy like Allen Temple-Jones was probably my… He wrote the bible for us for S&C and he’s been there since 2008. So, and then the guys who took over also just followed suit. So, South Africa is not the biggest country on the sevens circuit. We’re in fact the smallest one if you look at all the Davids boys. They’re midgets in their own right, but they’re really good at it. I mean, Justin Geduld’s broomstick’s a South Africa broomstick. Franco du Preez, a small guy. So, we needed to think outside the box to stop tall guys like the Fijians and the guys had to be on par with culture, had to be on par with mindset, and approach, and physicality.
So, even as we are a smaller, we really work hard on defense, make that our comfort zone, and also just the guys just had the right mentality and attitude just to fight every game, and fight for each other, and fight for the cause. So, we don’t have a domestic season here, so we don’t have domestic sevens. Played a little bit of sevens at school, but so the guys that we do have need to either step up, and that’s just everyone that’s involved, their knowledge just gets passed on and shared, and that’s what’s gonna make us really successful and really good. I mean, despite our size and despite the impact that we make.
Craig Wilson: Nice. So, what would a training week look like when you’re back home in South Africa preparing for a tournament?
Frankie Horne: Well, I’ve been out of the system a little bit, but it’s pretty much a four-day workweek if you think about it like that. You’ve got a Wednesday, which is normally your dedicated off day just in between sessions, because you don’t want to spike too much. You’re trying to always peak at tournaments and not peak in the week before tournaments, so we used to say like if you have a really great captain’s run, in the tournament you’re not gonna do well, because it’s not supposed to peak at a captain’s run. You need to peak at the actual game.
So, yeah, it’s a four-day workweek for the most part unless you feel, the management felt like the guys didn’t put in the work, or something went horribly wrong, or there’s some issues or something. But yeah, for the most part, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday is normally your kickers and your throwers doing extra work, and then Thursday-Friday is your jacked up days. And trying to lead with a little bit of conditioning or just kick off with captain’s type runs. It depends on what Neil and these guys want, but yeah, that’s the sweet and short of it.
Craig Wilson: No, that’s really great insight. I think it’ll be news to a lot of people that the South Africa team isn’t the biggest on the circuit and they have to use your strengths behind the scenes to ensure that you’re world class and in the medals pretty much every tournament you guys are involved in. Frankie, it was an absolute pleasure watching you play and even better to have you on the podcast.
Frankie Horne: Thanks, Craig.
Craig Wilson: Thank you, mate.
Frankie Horne: Yeah. Sorry about the Wi-Fi. Yeah, let’s keep in touch, and yeah, thank you very much for everything.
Craig Wilson: Cheers, mate.
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