JAMES Simpson-Daniel will join Gloucester’s coaching team as they bid for Premiership Rugby Sevens glory.
The Cherry and Whites wing is still making his way back from the career-threatening ankle injury he suffered last season.
But he will turn his attention to the shortened form of the game as Gloucester select an unchanged squad for the defence of their sevens crown.
He said: “While I’m still hammering away with my rehabilitation, pool mobility and weights, I’ll switch my focus and help with the sevens on Friday night.
“It will be really good to put my mind to that. I’ve done quite a bit of coaching in the past but have never assigned myself to a team for an entire season.
“I have my level two badge and have done another course on the transition from professional rugby to coaching in public schools.
“The stuff I have done previously has mainly been through appearances but I do see coaching as an option for the future so it will be good to dip my toe into it again.
“I have a lot of experience in sevens and hopefully I can help the boys.”
Gloucester, who will once again be led by Aled Thomas, face Northampton Saints in their quarterfinal at the Stoop and will then contest either the cup they won last year or the plate.
But having casted an eye over the other group stage legs, Simpson-Daniel, who will assist Olly Morgan and Simon Lane, reckons the Cherry and Whites are in prime position.
He said: “We set a marker and after seeing the other legs we can definitely go into the final with a really good chance.
“With just three more wins we can retain our title and that would be just awesome but we are drumming it into the boys that it is a knockout competition and there is no room for slip ups.
“The boys are confident and they absolutely loved the group stages.
“There’s a great balance to our squad, last week you had Steph Reynolds catching balls and scoring tries all over the place and then Jacob Rowan who was simply everywhere, making tackles and getting over the ball.
“When I was on the sevens circuit with England we had a guy called Kieran Roach who was just like that, a Richard Hill of the sevens circuit, and Jacob fulfilled that role perfectly.”
1. Sam Showering
2. Jacob Rowan
3. Dan Thomas
4. Bill Meakes
5. Sam Underhill
6. Rhodri McAtee
7. Aled Thomas (captain)
8. Lloyd Evans
9. Henry Purdy
10. Ollie Thorley
11. Callum Braley
12. Steph Reynolds