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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Sevens coach Geraint John leaves Rugby Canada after best-ever season

LANGFORD, B.C. - Geraint John announced his resignation as head coach of Canada's men's rugby sevens team on Monday.

John, who has been with Rugby Canada since 2006 and served as sevens head coach since 2010, has accepted a position with the Australian Rugby Union. His resignation will come into effect on June 23rd, after Canada's June international series.

"I would like to personally thank all of the players and staff over the years for their outstanding support," said John. "Also, a big thank you to Rugby Canada, the board of directors and provincial unions, who have been excellent towards me during my time with Rugby Canada."

Kieran Crowley, head coach of Canada's men's fifteens team, will serve as interim coach for the sevens team as Canada prepares for July's Commonwealth Games in Scotland. Crowley has assisted John for the past two seasons on the IRB's Sevens World Series circuit.

"Obviously it's disappointing that he's departing because he's made great strides with our teams over his nine years with Rugby Canada," said Crowley. "It's going to be a big loss for us, but it's a great opportunity for Geraint and I wish him well."

John led Canada to its best-ever Sevens World Series performance this season. The Canadians finished sixth overall, compared to 12th last season, and posted a best-ever runner-up finish at the circuit's stop in Glasgow, Scotland.

"Geraint has done an outstanding job coaching this group of young men, and we worked very hard to retain his services," said Mike Chu, Rugby Canada's general manager of rugby operations and performance. "Unfortunately we were unable to, but we are appreciative of many years of work he has contributed to Canadian rugby, and wish him well on his move to Australia."

Canada will face New Zealand, Barbados and host Scotland on Day 1 of the Commonwealth Games at Glasgow's Ibrox Stadium.

"Geraint's departure will leave a huge gap, but I am confident the players will continue to step up and perform under Kieran Crowley at the Commonwealth Games and into the next IRB Sevens World Series," said Chu.

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