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Rugby Australia confirm Men's and Women's Sevens coaches

Thu, 09/12/2021, 7:00 pm
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Australia faced off against Oceania at day three of the Oceania Sevens at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

Tim Walsh and John Manenti have signed on as coaches of the Australian women's and men's Sevens teams respectively until 2024.

The move reunites Walsh with the program he guided to Olympic gold in Rio along with a Commonwealth Games silver medal in 2018.

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Meanwhile, Manenti returns to the side where he started his Sevens coaching career in 2015 as a forwards coach.

“We’re pleased to announce Tim Walsh and John Manenti will be taking up the respective Women’s and Men’s sevens coaching roles with Rugby Australia," RA CEO Andy Marinos said in a statement.

“This has been the culmination of a post-Olympic review and resetting of the strategic focus of both programs. In addition to this the Sevens will continue to play an important role within the overall high performance system and restructure that will deliver greater alignment between our National, Super Rugby and Super W teams. Their appointments have been the result of a recruitment process where a number of candidates were interviewed for the positions.

"We will now focus our attention on working with them both over the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition between the programs, in preparation for Tim’s return to the Australian Women’s Sevens and John’s to the Australian Men’s Sevens.

“We’re fortunate that both coaches have worked within the programs and are known to the playing group and staff, so we expect it will be a smooth transition as they shift roles to their new teams given the HSBC World Series is well underway.

“Both Tim and John have a wealth of experience and IP in the world of Sevens. After careful consideration, we felt they were the best two coaches to lead the respective programs forward into the future. They both have a lot to offer and we’re looking forward to seeing what they can do over the next three years as we prepare not only for the Commonwealth Games and Sevens World Cup later this year but also the Olympics in Paris in 2024.”

Walsh was pleased to be locked in until the 2024 Olympics as they look to bounce back following a fifth-place finish in Tokyo

They will enter 2022 on top of the World Series rankings after back-to-back wins in Dubai.

“I am both humbled and honoured to be appointed to the position of Australian Women’s Sevens coach," Walsh said.

“The Sevens programs continue to be my passion and the enjoyment derived from coaching some of the best Rugby talent in the world inspires me to impact positive changes within Rugby Australia and Rugby globally.

“Rugby Sevens provides a perfect platform to inspire, innovate and include and as a proud employee of Rugby Australia I will use my expertise to shape and deliver desired organisational outcomes.”

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Meanwhile, Manenti was looking forward to working closely with the Super Rugby clubs and Wallabies as the Sevens side build on last week's narrow loss in the Final against South Africa.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity to return to coaching the men," Manenti added.

"It’s a great challenge to not only build a successful and winning team, but also be a critical step in the development of Super Rugby players and ultimately Wallabies.

“With the Commonwealth Games and World Cup on the calendar, along with the World Series, there are plenty of opportunities to showcase the team’s talent. I’m also looking forward to aligning with Super coaches to have mutually beneficial outcomes around player availability.

“I’m really proud of my time with the women’s team, obviously the back-to-back tournament wins in Dubai are a highlight. The past few years I’ve invested in youth through a transition period and they are now ready to take on the world.

"Players like Maddie Ashby, Faith Nathan, Lily Dick, Rhiannon Byers, Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea, Sariah Paki amongst others will become superstars of the game. I hand the team over in great shape and look forward to working with Walshy to ensure a smooth transition for the girls."

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