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By ARU Media Unit
Australian Rugby Union today announced Michael O’Connor has resigned from his position as Head Coach of the Qantas Men’s Sevens team.
O’Connor cited family considerations as the contributing factor behind his decision.
“I tended my resignation to Anthony Eddy [General Manager – Rugby Sevens] and the ARU earlier this week. With the Sevens program recently moving to a full-time base in Sydney, and with the international travel to tournaments, it simply meant too much time away from home.
“Nevertheless, this move to Sydney is a real step forward for Sevens in Australia, and it aligns us with other countries chasing a gold medal at the Olympics in Rio in 2016.
“I believe that this young Australian squad will be a definite medal chance and now that they live and train in the same place, they will continue to improve and find ways to win.”
O’Connor will still be heavily involved in the Rugby Sevens department. Based in Queensland, he will work with development athletes and coach the National Youth Programs.
Australian Rugby CEO Bill Pulver said: “On behalf of Australian Rugby, I’d like to thank Michael for his incredible dedication to the Qantas Men’s Sevens team. He has provided strong leadership and stability since 2008 and has overseen an era of incredible change for Rugby Sevens including the move to professionalism.
“We’re delighted that Michael will continue to stay involved in our Sevens programs and we will use the months ahead to ensure there is a smooth transition to his successor.”
The ARU will commence its global search for a replacement for O’Connor immediately with the remit of ensuring the Men’s Sevens team qualifies for the Olympics with the goal of winning gold.
Qantas Australian Sevens player Shannon Walker will play his first tournament in over a year when he lines up for the National Indigenous side at this weekend’s National Sevens Championships in Narrabeen, Sydney.