Crowley steps down as Canada coach

Date published: January 7 2016

Canada's General Manager of Rugby Operations and Performance, Jim Dixon, has announced that Kieran Crowley has stepped down as Head Coach.

Crowley, who has been with Rugby Canada since 2008 through two Rugby World Cup cycles, has accepted a coaching position with a professional rugby club located in Europe.

In the interim, Rugby Canada has announced that Canada's Women's Head Coach Francois Ratier will lead the Men's team into the inaugural Americas Rugby Championship, starting Saturday February 6 when Canada takes on Uruguay in Langford, BC.

Ratier was involved with the Men's team at the 2014 Pacific Rugby Challenge in Suva, Fiji and has recently experienced unprecedented success with Canada's Women's program. In 2014, Ratier led Canada to its best ever second place finish at the Women's Rugby World Cup in Paris, France.

"I am confident the players will continue to step up and perform under Francois' leadership at the Americas Rugby Championship," said Dixon.

"Ratier's interim work with the Men’s Program will not interfere with his ability to lead our Women's National Fifteens team, as there are no matches or camps planned for this period."

Following an extensive Rugby World Cup review process, Crowley was offered the role through the 2019 Rugby World Cup Qualifiers. Crowley accepted that job in late December, however earlier this week, Crowley informed Rugby Canada of his subsequent resignation.

"Rugby Canada has already begun a global search for a permanent head coach. It is expected there will be plenty of interest in fulfilling this important role and the necessary time will be taken to find the right candidate," added Dixon.

"We are disappointed to see Kieran leave, however we appreciate all he has given our Program over the past eight years and wish both him and his family the very best as he takes on a new challenge in Europe," said Gareth Rees, Men's Program Manager for Rugby Canada.

"The 2015 Rugby World Cup didn't produce the results we needed but the team played at the very highest level and threatened the world's top teams. Rugby Canada is gearing up for a huge challenge leading into qualification for 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan," added Rees.

"We have made significant changes to our set up and the players and coaches are excited and ready to get to work for the Canadian cause."