Canada head coach Damian McGrath speaks during a news conference in Vancouver, Wednesday, March 8, 2017 ater a breakthrough campaign that saw their first ever tournament win on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series (File photo)

McGrath out as Men’s Rugby 7s head coach

The XV men’s team’s assistant coach Henry Paul will be filling in ‘effective immediately’

Damian McGrath was relieved as the Canadian men’s rugby 7s head coach on Thursday after nearly three seasons at the helm.

It’s been a rocky season for the men’s national team so far, seeing them slip in the rankings from ninth to twelfth overall in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series with two tournaments remaining.

ALSO READ: Canada men’s sevens team eye a top-eight finish

“A change in leadership now provides the team an opportunity to refine their play through the final two stops,” reads a statement from Allen Vansen, the CEO of Rugby Canada.

The XV men’s team’s assistant coach Henry Paul will be filling in “effective immediately,” the media announcement reads. Paul played for England’s national Sevens team from 2002 until 2006.

ALSO READ: Injuries, lack of depth costing Canada in World Rugby Sevens Series

He will coach until the end of the season, including in the Olympics qualifiers in the Cayman Islands on July 6 and 7, according to the team.

Canada was ranked 13th at the time McGrath was hired in 2016. In 2017, the team had won a tournament title in Singapore under the leadership of the 59-year-old former Samoan sevens coach.

ALSO READ: Canadian men make history, down U.S. Eagles to win Singapore rugby sevens

swikar.oli@goldstreamgazette.com


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