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SportsRugby Canada fires sevens coach Damian McGrath, names Henry Paul interim coach

16:55  03 may  2019
16:55  03 may  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Henry Paul , an assistant coach with the Canadian men’s 15s team and former England sevens player, has been named interim sevens coach . The veteran English coach was hired in October 2016, succeeding Zimbabwe’s Liam Middleton, whose contract was not renewed after Canada failed

Rugby Canada has fired men's sevens coach Damian McGrath with the English veteran the odd man out in a revamped leadership structure. Henry Paul , an assistant coach with the men's 15s team, has been named interim sevens coach .

Rugby Canada fires sevens coach Damian McGrath, names Henry Paul interim coach© Provided by Canadian Press Enterprises Inc

Rugby Canada has fired men's sevens coach Damian McGrath with the English veteran the odd man out in a revamped leadership structure.

Henry Paul, an assistant coach with the men's 15s team, has been named interim sevens coach.

The Canadian men currently stand 12th in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series with two tournaments remaining in the season. The Canadian men will look to secure a berth at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics at a North American qualifying tournament in July in the Cayman Islands.

"A change in leadership now provides the team an opportunity to refine their play through the final two stops on the WRSS (World Rugby Sevens Series) and ensure thorough preparation for the RAN (Rugby Americas North) qualifying tournament," Rugby Canada CEO Allen Vansen said in a statement.

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Rugby Canada has fired men's sevens coach Damian McGrath with the English veteran the odd man out in a revamped leadership structure. Henry Paul , an assistant coach with the men's 15s team, has been named interim sevens coach .

A sevens season that started in turmoil will end in uncertainty and a search for a new coach after Rugby Canada fired Damian McGrath on Henry Paul , an assistant coach with the Canadian men's 15s team and former England sevens player, has been named interim sevens coach .

Canada's campaign was not helped by a two-month labour dispute prior to the World Series season. The players, unhappy with Rugby Canada's contract offer, stayed away from training camp and had little preparation time.

McGrath was hired in October 2016. The former Samoa coach succeeded Zimbabwe’s Liam Middleton, whose contract was not renewed after Canada failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics.

McGrath, 61, led Canada to its first ever World Series tournament win in 2017 when the Canadian men hoisted the cup in Singapore.

Paul played sevens for England from 2002 through 2006.

Rugby Canada also announced the formation of a performance leadership group responsible for high-performance operations of all of its national teams.

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Rugby Canada has fired men's sevens coach Damian McGrath with the English veteran the odd man out in a revamped leadership structure. Henry Paul , an assistant coach with the men's 15s team, has been named interim sevens coach . The Canadian men currently stand 12th in the HSBC World

Henry Paul , an assistant coach with the Canadian men’s 15s team and former England sevens player, has been named interim sevens coach . The veteran English coach was hired in October 2016, succeeding Zimbabwe’s Liam Middleton, whose contract was not renewed after Canada failed

The group consists of men's 15 coach Kingsley Jones, women's sevens coach John Tait, director of athletic performance Matt Barr and Dustin Hopkins, managing director of rugby operations.

“Changes in program leadership are always difficult decisions to reach, however this is part of developing and operating a competitive high performance program," said Vansen. "Rugby Canada feels that this new structure will lead to improved alignment and performance for all its high performance programs, and that must be the priority at this critical time."

Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

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