Toronto - Former All Blacks fullback Kieran
Crowley has quit as head coach of Canada just two weeks after signing a
contract extension that would have taken him through the 2019 Rugby
World Cup qualifiers.
The 54-year-old was leaving with immediate effect and would take up a post with a club in Europe, Rugby Canada said.
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 programme manager for Rugby Canada.
who had been in charge since 2008 and led Canada to the 2011 and 2015
World Cup tournaments, last month signed a two-year extension that
lasted until 2017, after the qualifiers for the next tournament in
Canada failed to grab
an automatic qualifying berth for the 2019 World Cup after losing all
four of their games at the 2015 tournament in England and finishing last
in their pool.
the contract extension last month, Crowley had said, "it is important
for me to remain with Rugby Canada and support our team to achieve the
success I know we are capable of achieving."The
Canadian women's team coach Francois Ratier will take over the men's
team for the inaugural Americas Rugby Championship, which starts next
month, while the organisation searches for a permanent replacement.Canada face Uruguay in Langford, British Columbia on Feb. 6 in their first match in the Championship."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," Rees
added."Rugby Canada is gearing up for a huge challenge leading into qualification for 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan."