Samurai Rugby congratulates Nick Wakley on his recent excellent coaching performances with Wales Women 7s, 15s and for Samurai Rugby. Nick has recently and for some, surprisingly, left the Wales set-up. Having spent two years with the WRU, Nick announced that he was leaving the organisation last month with no onward coaching role lined up.
Samurai Director of Rugby, Terry Sands, expressed his surprise at Nick’s departure: “Nick has done a fantastic job over the last two years for Wales but also for Samurai. Samurai teams work with a wide panel of elite coaches, and I have to say Nick is one of the best. The best in terms of the performances he gets out of our teams, the squad culture he enables and the development opportunities he creates for talented young players. When we have a particularly challenging competition, we reach out for Nick because we trust him, he knows how to compete at the highest level and operates an environment appropriate for elite players. We were surprised to hear that he was leaving Wales given that he has had a successful two years, with the Womens team improving beyond all expectations. Nick is one of the best up-and-coming coaches of his generation”.
Wakley’s coaching achievements in his two years with Wales Women 7s include their highest ever finish (5th) in the Rugby Europe competition which led to Commonwealth Games qualification, and a leg of the World Series as the invitational side. He also coached the team into the World Series qualification tournament, losing to South Africa in the quarter final. A week later he coached the team to 7th ranking in the Common Wealth Games beating South Africa in their final game, and as the only amateur team in the competition. He has also coached the team in tournaments around the world, including Spain, Brisbane, Dublin and Amsterdam. In the 15s game, he coached Wales Women to 7th place in the World Cup, beating hosts Ireland in their final game, and gaining automatic qualification for the next World Cup.
For Samurai, Nick has coached elite squads to success around the world in the last ten years, most recently in the UK, helping Samurai win the UK Super Sevens Series at Ealing Trailfinders in June 2018. Prior to that competition, and his time with Wales, Nick has been a winning Samurai coach in the 2016 UK Super Sevens Series, 2016 Dubai International Invitational Ladies, 2016 UK Super Sevens Series, both 2014 & 2015 GB Series as Head Coach and as Head Coach for the 2014 Kenya 7s. Nick also got Samurai to the finals of the 2014 & 2015 Hong Kong 10s finals as Head Coach.
Of his time with Wales, Wakley said “It has been a tough decision, I’ve absolutely loved my time here. It’s been an amazing experience coaching these talented women. You will not meet a more committed, dedicated and proud group of people. For two years I’ve tested that commitment with 6am rugby and fitness sessions, numerous evenings and weekend camps. It’s been a rollercoaster and I’m a better coach for it. I was also lucky to be in an environment where I’ve been able to innovate and bounce ideas off other top coaches and management. I believe my two-year tenure has been successful and seen the team grow both on and off the pitch. I am now looking for a new challenge in my coaching career, whatever form that opportunity takes”.
Samurai Rugby congratulates Nick, and we wish him well. We know that he will kick on forward to another successful phase in his coaching career, and we look forward with interest to learning what his next opportunity is. Wherever the next chapter in Nick’s coaching journey takes him, he is bound to be a big asset to his new team and environment.