Olympic hopefuls USA name new Sevens coach and James Mortimer     05 Aug 2013    

As a player, Hawkins competed in 37 rounds of the Sevens World Series, scoring 56 tries and 280 points and he captained the team during their most successful campaigns in 2013, winning the Plate in Tokyo and Glasgow.

Hawkins also led the team in their fight to be amongst the core teams for the 2013/14 Sevens World Series and will now coach the side as they look ahead to qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games.

“We wanted experience on the HSBC Sevens World Series Circuit, and Matt obviously has several years’ experience on the circuit and has been part of the squad for a long time,” said USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville said.

“The Series is very unique in many ways; it’s incredibly challenging. Matt understands the demands of the circuit and the demands of the year.”

Hawkins has coached San Diego State University and works with Serevi Rugby as the director of California.

After sustaining an injury in 2009, Hawkins also helped coach Belmont Shore Sevens during their run of two Club Sevens National Championships in three years in 2009 and 2011.

“My approach to the Sevens program ever since I first joined way back when in 2006 was: I want to do anything I can in my capacity to help the program be better and be more successful,” Hawkins said.

“Whatever that means, I’m happy to seek out that role and perform that role. This is that next role for me and I’m extremely excited about the opportunity and look forward to it.

“I’ve had a lot of coaching roles in the past five or six years, but within that I’ve had a pretty decent leadership role with the Eagles over the past three or four years.

“That’s allowed me to fall into that role quite a bit and it’s something I enjoy. I like doing it as part of the team, it’s something I’ve done naturally and it’s something I’ll be allowed to continue doing on a full-time basis.”