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Paul Treu © Gallo Images

Q&A: Paul Treu

Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu joined us online on Tursday to answer your questions.

Paul is currently in London where he is preparing the squad for the final leg of the IRB Sevens Series at Twickenham this weekend.

Below is what he had to say.

The question and answer session has closed.

Questions and answers
Otto Saayman asked:
Hi Paul! Thanks for your time. I love watching the Blisbokke play. The competition just keeps getting tougher. We don''t seem to have enough depth when our first choice players get injured. What is being done to correct this before the olympics in 2016? Do we have what it takes, as a 7s nation, to win a gold medal in Brazil 2016?
Paul answered:
Hi Otto. We have set the standard in many regards in a number of areas, but the opposition teams have caught up sooner than expected. We have started with our 7s academy to help improve our depth, but it will take time for these young players to develop into the standards of international 7s. Regarding Brazil 2016, we have already started exposing potential Olympians to the IRB Sevens Series. Tshotsho Mbovane, William Small-Smith and Paul Jordaan are examples. In 2016 however, we will have to ensure that we get the best rugby players in South Africa available to win a gold medal.
ericcon asked:
How does one perfect the conversion kick in both 7''s and 15''s...
Paul answered:
Hi Erriccon. I'm not a kicking expert, but consistency in rhythm and action is key. This is achieved through discipline and practice.
Gary Stryers asked:
Hi Paul

Let me just start off with saying what a great job I think you have been doing for the last few years, you definitely got a great future still ahead of you. In saying that, what do you see yourself doing in the future, after 7s rugby? Do you see yourself moving to 15 man rugby. As I have heard rumors of you joining Heyneke Meyer in his new Springbok set up, I find it an intriguing thought as you seem like someone with a good rugby brain .

Kind regards.
Paul answered:
Hi Gary. Thank you for the compliment. My full attention is with my team and Sevens rugby in South Africa. I prefer not to think of the future but rather focus on what I'm doing right now to the best of my ability. That is part of my coaching philosophy and approach to life.
Alistair asked:
Hoekom maak ons kontak teen spanne soos Samoa,Fiji & NZ wat fisies sterker as ons is hoekom hardloop ons hulle nie deur mekaar nie ons het dan die flair in ons span. Sterkte vir die volgende rondte
Paul answered:
Hi Alistair. We are trying our utmost to coach our players "game sense" and awareness. We are making way too much contact, but we are constantly trying to make the players see other possibilities. Changing these habits from a 15s mentality to a style of play with more spacial awareness takes time.
Sergio Short asked:
Hi Paul.

Great work with the team despite all the injuries we aren''t doing too bad. How can we get more youngsters interested in 7s rugby especially backline players because many that come from 7s seems to kick on to 15 man rugby very well like Gio Aplon.
Paul answered:
Hi Sergio. We have the @lantic School Series and last year our U18 Team participated at the Junior Commonwealth Games. We should take these initiatives to Primary school level. Sevens will enhance the skill level of all players which will be beneficial to both 15's and 7's.
Alex Cox asked:
Hi Paul, do you believe that South Africa have had a successful Sevens Series, given the fact that you have had so many unfortunate injuries?
Paul answered:
Hi Alex. We came into this season with high expectations after the way we ended last season. We are disappointed with our current World Series ranking, however, we have given opportunities to a few younger players, with the idea of building to the Olympics in 2016.
Maru (AtTheSevens.com) asked:
What effect will another Super Rugby team have on the depth of sevens playing talent in South Africa?

Australia are struggling and pillaging their sevens team every year.
Paul answered:
Hi Alex. We came into this season with high expectations after the way we ended last season. We are disappointed with our current World Series ranking, however, we have given opportunities to a few younger players, with the idea of building to the Olympics in 2016.
Robin Quickfall asked:
1.With such an abundance of players, why is SA struggling to get strong, skillful and fast players in the team?
2.When we get injuries, why do we always fall back on "old" players?...skill is important, but without physical strength and speed we will not win any games.
3.Why does SA players not make more effort to score closer to the poles?
4.In many games, options taken are real poor - especially kicking penalties for lineouts which we always struggle to win.

I love the game and wish we could build a winning team that consistently performs at a high level. Good luck for the feature of SA 7''s.

Thank you
Paul answered:
Hi Robin. Sevens is a specialist sport and unfortunately not all 15s players, even those that are strong, skillful and fast, will make good 7s players. For example, Cecil Afrika, arguably our best player, was in our system for a full year before he played for our team and it took him another season on the circuit after that, to become what he is today.
The only way we can test the decision making skill of our players is at international competition.
We are working hard to become the number one team in the world again and hopefully we will achieve this goal sooner rather than later.
Gareth Andrews asked:
Hi Paul

What is the reason for our lack of depth? I know we have had quite a few injuries. Do we not have a reliable sevens circuit in South Africa?

Regards Gareth
Paul answered:
Hi Gareth. We have started to identify players at a younger age, and, working through our academy, we will create a bit more depth.
David asked:
No dis-respect Paul? But is it not time to stand down?
Paul answered:
Hi David. I'm sorry that you feel that way. My future involvement with the team is dependent on processes at SARU. I however am still incredibly passionate about the team and irrespective of our current form, I will do everything in my power to assist our team to become medal contenders in 2016.
Rueben Mampuru asked:
I understand how tough it is without our key players, and now having to front up for the final tour it''s going to be a big ask but we really have to show the world that we can still compete with the worlds best.. Are we going to see major improvements from the boys??
Paul answered:
Hi Rueben. Experience always comes before learnning. Hopefu;;y the younger players would've realised what it takes to compete at the highest level. Our target is to finish on a high and, even though its a tough ask considering our challenges, we will do best to achieve this
Julian asked:
Hi Paul,thank you for giving us your time.Why does it sometimes look as if the other teams are just so much better than us,and we are just waiting for them to make a mistake in order for us to score a try,and dont you think we rely too much on Cecil to make things happen for us.Thnks for all you ve done for 7s,you are a legend.
Paul answered:
Hi Julian. At the moment we are not converting our opportunities into points. In 7s, possession is key and we are letting ourselves down in that department. We are conceding too many turnovers and our defence and first-time tackling is not up to standard. Without Cecil, we lose a lot of momentum on attack, but our emphasis is always on our team and not individuals.

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