The Scot has found his home in New Zealand

Who is Clark Laidlaw: Ten things you should know about the New Zealand sevens coach

Clark Laidlaw is an adopted Kiwi.

The Scot first moved to New Zealand in 2008 and progressed to the role of Men’s Sevens head coach in 2017.

Ten things you should know about Clark Laidlaw

1. Clark Laidlaw was born on 16 July 1977 and grew up in Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders. He is the son of former Scotland and British and Irish Lions international Roy Laidlaw and cousin of ex-Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw.

2. He made his Scotland Sevens debut in 2001 and scored 246 points in the World Sevens Series.

3. Laidlaw represented Scotland at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, but his country was unable to make the knockout stages.

4. He moved to New Zealand in 2008, initially working in a rugby development role for Taranaki.

5. Laidlaw worked for the Hurricanes between 2013 and 2015, helping them reach the Super Rugby final in his final season.

During that period, Laidlaw also coached Wellington to a national sevens title.

Clark Laidlaw with the Hurricanes

Laidlaw worked with the Hurricanes from 2013 to 2015 (Getty Images)

6. He was an assistant coach at London Irish for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. The Exiles were relegated from the Aviva Premiership in his first campaign, before achieving immediate promotion.

7. Laidlaw became the first foreigner to coach a New Zealand national rugby team in 2017, succeeding the legendary Sir Gordon Tietjens as Men’s Sevens head coach. He had previously worked under Tietjens as a skills coach and video analyst.

8. Despite his roots on the other side of the world, Laidlaw considers himself embedded in Kiwi rugby.

“I think more like a Kiwi than a Scotsman when it comes to the game,” he told Stuff in 2017. “Having that positivity to play, that optimism that if it’s on, it’s on. I think that’s the key.”

9. Laidlaw guided New Zealand to their second consecutive Sevens World Cup triumph in 2018, beating England in the final. He also won the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and a first World Sevens Series as head coach in 2020.

10. He coached New Zealand to the Olympic final at Tokyo 2020, where his side won silver.

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