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May 26, 2014 ISN – LANGFORD, BC – Rugby Canada General Manager of Rugby Operations and Performance, Mike Chu announced today that Geraint John will be stepping down as Head Coach of Canada’s Men’s Sevens Program effective June 23rd.

John, who has been with Rugby Canada since 2006 and Sevens head coach since 2010, has accepted a position with the Australian Rugby Union, beginning after Canada’s June International Series.

In the interim, Canada’s Men’s Fifteens Head Coach Kieran Crowley will lead Canada into the Commonwealth Games in July in Scotland. Crowley has assisted John for the past two seasons on the World Series circuit.

“Geraint has done an outstanding job coaching this group of young men, and we worked very hard to retain his services. 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,” said Chu from the Centre of Excellence in Langford.

“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,” added Chu.

In large part due to the support received from Own the Podium and Sport Canada, Canada’s Men’s Sevens Team has had some of their best-ever performance on the world circuit recently.

“I would like to personally thank all of the players and staff over the years for their outstanding support,” said John from Langford.

“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,” added John.

After opening the 2013/14 season with three Bowl competition finishes, Canada made five consecutive Cup Rounds and finished third in Las Vegas and second in Glasgow.

“We are very disappointed to see Geraint leave, however we appreciate all he has given over the past 9 years and wish him all the very best with the ARU,” said Steve Lancaster, High Performance Manager for Rugby Canada.

“Canada’s Men’s Program has made fantastic progress of the past two years and we are excited about what the next two years hold leading into Rio in 2016,” added Lancaster.

Canada will face New Zealand, Barbados and hosts Scotland on Day One of the Commonwealth Games, happening July 26-27 at Ibrox Stadium.

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