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Canada’s Women’s Fifteens Coach Francois Ratier to act as National Senior Men’s Interim Head Coach for 2016 Americas Rugby Championship

LANGFORD, BC – Rugby Canada General Manager of Rugby Operations and Performance, Jim Dixon announced today that Kieran Crowley will be stepping down as Head Coach of Canada’s Men’s Fifteens Team effective immediately.

Crowley, who has been with Rugby Canada since 2008 through two Rugby World Cup cycles, has accepted a coaching position with a professional rugby club located in Europe.

In the interim, Rugby Canada is pleased to announce that Canada’s Women’s Fifteens Head Coach Francois Ratier will lead Canada’s National Senior Men’s Team into the inaugural Americas Rugby Championship, starting Saturday February 6th where Canada takes on Uruguay in Langford, BC.

Ratier was involved with the Men’s Fifteens Team at the 2014 Pacific Rugby Challenge in Suva, Fiji and has recently experienced unprecedented success with Canada’s Women’s Fifteens Program. In 2014, Ratier led Canada to its best ever second place finish at the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Paris, France.

“I am confident the players will continue to step up and perform under Francois’ leadership at the Americas Rugby Championship,” said Dixon.

“Ratier’s interim work with the Men’s Program will not interfere with his ability to lead our Women’s National Fifteens team, as there are no matches or camps planned for this period.”

Following an extensive Rugby World Cup review process, Kieran Crowley was offered the role of Senior Men’s Fifteens Coach through the 2019 Rugby World Cup Qualifiers. Crowley accepted that role in late December, however earlier this week, Crowley informed Rugby Canada of his subsequent resignation.

“Rugby Canada has already begun a global search for a permanent head coach.  It is expected there will be plenty of interest in fulfilling this important role and the necessary time will be taken to find the right candidate,” added Dixon


“We are disappointed to see Kieran leave, however we appreciate all he has given our Program over the past eight years and wish both him and his family the very best as he takes on a new challenge in Europe,” said Gareth Rees, Men’s Program Manager for Rugby Canada.

“The 2015 Rugby World Cup didn’t produce the results we needed but the team played at the very highest level and threatened the world’s top teams. Rugby Canada is gearing up for a huge challenge leading into qualification for 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan,” added Rees.

“We have made significant changes to our set up and the players and coaches are excited and ready to get to work for the Canadian cause.”

Canada’s 2016 season kicks off on Saturday February 6 at the Home of Canadian Rugby at Westhills Stadium in Langford against Uruguay to open the newly formatted ARC.

In the new competition – which World Rugby has sanctioned as official test matches – Canada will face Uruguay and Brazil (February 20th) in Langford, along with USA on February 13th in Texas before travelling to South America to face Argentina and Chile.

Canada will also be competing in a June International Series, with stops to be confirmed across Canada, as well as their annual November Tour to Europe.

Men’s Fifteens 2016 Confirmed Schedule:

Canada vs. Uruguay – February 6th

Americas Rugby Championship

Westhills Stadium, Langford, BC

Kick off: 7pm ET/4pm PT

Canada vs. USA – February 13th

Americas Rugby Championship

Austin, Texas

Canada vs. Brazil – February 20th

Americas Rugby Championship

Westhills Stadium, Langford, BC

Kick off: 7pm ET/4pm PT

Canada vs. Argentina – February 27th

Americas Rugby Championship


Canada vs. Chile

Americas Rugby Championship


Canada vs. Italy – June TBD

Toronto, ON

Canada vs. Ireland – November 12

Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland