Forbes happy to watch Sevens from afar

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    29 Nov 2017     Getty Images

Now retired from the Sevens career that saw him play in 512 games, 89 tournaments, score 153 tries and share in 26 tournament wins and with gold medals for Rugby World Cup Sevens and Commonwealth Games Sevens triumphs, Forbes is looking forward to how his former team shapes up, starting at Dubai on Friday.

"We've come through two years of major injuries and transitions and will be better off for it so [I'm] excited to watch that. But I think the eyes will be on South Africa to see if they can defend their World Series win.

"They are the ones to beat, everyone will be after them," he told

The key to success in the event was built around a 'well performing core group of players mixed with consistency in preparation, consistency in training and consistency in performance'.

"Add a culture that enables the players to enjoy themselves while working hard for each other, where the team is always put first, then I would like to think that that team would be on its way to some success in the future," he said.

Forbes played through an era of significant development in sevens, most notably the inclusion in the Olympic Games.

He had gone to Rio de Janiero in 2016 with the New Zealand team hopeful that he would return with an Olympic medal but New Zealand were beaten 12-7 in the quarter-finals by the eventual winners Fiji.

"Sevens from my point of view is about the Olympics. Looking at it that way for me meant asking myself the question: Am I going to be at the next one? The answer was no, 2020 was too far away.

"The body was still willing but I think the timing was right with our new team management, the programme being centralised in Tauranga and my kids being at a certain age. It just felt like the time was now to start the next phase," he said.

While the Olympics dominated the programme, the Rugby World Cup Sevens was also up there, and Forbes led the New Zealanders to the title in 2013 by beating England 33-0 in the final.

"I still think winning a Sevens World Cup is a major achievement. People try to talk it down when you compare it to a 15s Rugby World Cup but the prestige of that title along with the few countries who have won it means there's only a select few that can say they even know what that feels like. That's special," he said.