John quits as Australian sevens coach

The Australian Rugby Union is on the hunt for a new sevens head coach after the shock resignation of Geraint John.

John, who had served as the ARU’s sevens director and the head coach of the men’s national team since June 2014, has resigned due to personal reasons and will return to Britain at the end of the month.

Current women’s sevens coach Tim Walsh will take over John’s role at the helm of the men’s team in an interim capacity, with a search already underway for a permanent replacement.

“While obviously we are sad to lose Geraint, we respect his decision entirely,” ARU general manager Ben Whitaker said.

“We do, however, have the right structure in place to ensure this won’t negatively impact either the men’s or women’s players or the program in general.

“In fact, given all coaching staff including Tim [Walsh] have already worked with the men’s squad in some detail, we are extremely confident we will maintain the program’s momentum and development until a new coach is appointed.”

Under John, Australia won a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and finished fifth in the most recent HSBC Sevens World Series, 12 points behind fourth-placed England.

The men’s team is yet to seal qualification for next year’s Olympic Games in Rio, but it could receive a huge boost next year with Wallabies stars such as Quade Cooper, Israel Folau, Henry Speight, Bernard Foley and Matt Toomua said to be contemplating a switch to the shortened version of the game.

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