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O'Connor quits Aussie Sevens job

Tue, 25 Feb 2014 07:31
Michael-o_connor
confident squad on right track towards Olympics
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Michael O’Connor has resigned from his position as Australian Rugby Sevens head coach citing 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," O'Connor said.
 
Despite his exit, O'Connor is confident the squad he is leaving behind is making good progress and it is on the right track towards the Olympics.
 
"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."
 
Australia currently sit 5th in the World Sevens Series standings, behind New Zealand, South Africa, Fiji and England.  
 
O’Connor will still be involved in the Rugby Sevens department , but he will work on youth development. 
 
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 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," Pulver added.
 
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.
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