The Australian Rugby Union today announced Geraint John will leave his role as Australian Director of Rugby Sevens and Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach at the end of the month for family reasons and will return to the UK.
In addition to his current role as Head Coach of the Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens team, Tim Walsh will assume responsibility for the Men’s program in a temporary capacity until a suitable replacement for the Head Coach position is appointed.
The current Australian Sevens coaching structure, including recently appointed set-piece and contact coach John Manenti, will continue to contribute across both Sevens programs. Scott Bowen, meanwhile, will be elevated to the position of Sevens Performance Program Manager, taking on overall program responsibilities held by Geraint John.
Ben Whitaker, General Manager – Pathways and Performance at the Australian Rugby Union, said: “While obviously we are sad to lose Geraint, we respect his decision entirely. 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.
“Scott Bowen will assume expanded responsibilities as Australian Sevens Program Manager while we are also fortunate to have one of the most experienced Team Managers on the World Series circuit in Luca Liussi to ensure a seamless transition.”
Geraint John was appointed to the role with the Australian Sevens program in June 2014 after succeeding Michael O’Connor and within a month led the country to a Bronze Medal at the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Under the guidance of John, Australian finished the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series in fifth spot, 12 points behind fourth-placed England.
The Australian Rugby Union will commence its search for a new Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach with immediate effect.