MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia has started a recruitment process for head coaches of its national men’s and women’s rugby sevens teams after both programmes flopped at the Tokyo Olympics.
The Australian women, coached by John Manenti, were eliminated in the quarter-finals of their gold medal defence in Tokyo.
Under Tim Walsh, the men also fell in the last eight and embarrassed Australia’s Olympic delegation after some of the squad’s players damaged their rooms in Tokyo and were drunk on a flight home.
Rugby Australia said it had completed a review into the “disappointing” Tokyo campaign and advertised for coaches to start in January and take the squads through the Olympic cycle to the 2024 Paris Games.
“The incumbents (are) invited to formally re-apply,” the governing body said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The review found that greater alignment was needed between the XVs and sevens programmes, across both men and women’s player pathways, coaching as well as strength and conditioning.”
Fiji won a second successive men’s gold in Tokyo, with New Zealand claiming the women’s title.
Both Walsh and Manenti will remain in charge of their teams for the first two legs of the 2021-22 World Rugby Sevens series which begins in Dubai next month.
Walsh told Reuters he intended to re-apply for his job and the review was “enjoyable”.
“The outcome I believe will position sevens as an integral part of Rugby Australia’s performance model,” he said.
It was unclear whether Manenti would also re-apply.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Stephen Coates)