Head coach england rugby sevens & GB sevens
I feel fortunate to have experienced successes and to have some unforgettable memories as a player, and I want to help others experience the same now that I am a coach.
A Hamptonian through and through, Simon joined Hampton Prep (formerly Denmead) at the age of seven, carrying on all the way through the senior school until 18. He remembers his Hampton schooldays with great fondness, making a close-knit group of friends with whom he still keeps in regular contact. He credits the School for instilling certain values: a strong work ethic, passion, commitment and enjoyment, values which he believes will take you a very long way in this world if you stick by them.
Simon enjoyed music and the arts but it was sport and in particular, rugby that struck a spark. He rose through the junior ranks in the Hampton School teams and London Irish Rugby Academy. After Hampton, Simon studied at St Mary’s University and then Cambridge, earning a blue in the 2000 Varsity Match. Following his studies, his rugby career blossomed. Professional signings included Coventry, Gloucester, London Wasps and London Scottish. He was selected for England Sevens, which he captained between 2002-2007. In 2004, Simon was named the inaugural IRB Sevens Player of the Year. His coaching credits are similarly impressive: after starting as Director of Rugby for London Scottish, he took up the position of Head Coach for England Sevens and then became Head Coach for Great Britain Mens’ Sevens team, heading to the Rio Olympics in 2016. A career highlight was taking the GB team all the way through to win a Silver Medal, against all the odds.
Simon says his love for the Sevens game originated at Hampton: “Steve Timbs, our coach at the time, would not let us kick the ball. It was all about passing. So when we were playing in our fifteen-a-side games we initially lost a couple of matches, but we all became better rugby players as we were much more comfortable running and passing the ball. My love for the Sevens grew from there.”
Looking back on his illustrious sporting career, Simon says:
I am passionate about the game of Rugby Sevens and want to grow this great sport and inspire others to play it, as well as wanting to make England and Great Britain proud.
His message to today’s Hamptonians:
Have confidence in the education and the values the School offers you. Measure yourself first-and-foremost on your effort, and on your passion and commitment. Have confidence in being a good person and doing the right thing. Follow these guidelines, and not only will you be successful in life but the world will have more good people in it.