Men's XVs News

August 03 2017


Mark Anscombe - Next National Senior Men XVs Coach
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Head Coach Anscombe Relieved of Duties: Details of Program Review Pending


We had written on July 20th, "We heard that Anscombe had his review with Jim Dixon and we have no idea how that went but one person in NS noted that Anscombe was supposed to be at the U19 Nationals in Truro but no sighting was made today. Could be nothing, could be significant. The name Eddie O'Sullivan was mentioned in the conversation as well. Do any of these pieces mean anything, we don't know, just putting the pieces out there."

Well it appears it did mean something, will the other part of the puzzle about Eddie O'Sullivan fit in place, again no idea.

The change had to be made though.

Rugby Canada have had a hit and miss record with hiring head coaches. They should have learned by now the key skills required to make it work in the Canadian environment. New 7s hiring, Damian McGrath, seems to be one of the success stories. Former hirings Crowley, Middleton, Anscombe not so much. The big difference from this writer's perspective is engagement with the rugby community, realizing that this job means setting up community support systems for the program and building relationships and goodwill from club to region. You can't isolate yourself in an office and expect to do well in this job. McGrath got it right away, the others didn't. Let's hope Rugby Canada learns the lesson.

More to come...

from Rugby Canada

LANGFORD, BC – Rugby Canada’s General Manager of Rugby Operations and Performance, Jim Dixon announced today that Rugby Canada will be making a change in the Men’s Fifteens Head Coach position.

Today’s announcement comes after an extensive review of the National Men’s Fifteens Program – which Mark Anscombe has been the Head Coach of since May of 2016 – following a disappointing loss to USA in the 2019 Men’s Rugby World Cup Qualification matches in Hamilton and San Diego. Full details from the program review will be made available tomorrow morning.

“On behalf of everyone at Rugby Canada, I would like to thank Mark for his commitment to the organization and the program, we wish him every success in the future,” said Dixon from Langford, BC.

“It is very apparent to all in the Canadian Rugby community that in order for our Men’s Fifteens Team to be a successful and respected program we must continue to drive a culture of excellence, commitment and discipline. This goes for every level of the game. As a collective community we must address the gaps in our system and strive to provide our young players with the best possible environment to excel in the game, and we have a lot of work to do in this regard. I am 100% confident the National Senior Men’s Fifteens program staff, and most importantly the players, will respond to the challenge in front of them. The program will recommence in September with new resources in place to support them,” added Dixon.

Rugby Canada’s current staff will maintain preparations for the Men’s Fifteens Program, including re-centralization in September at the Canadian Rugby Centre of Excellence in Langford, BC. A Canada “A” side will compete in the Americas Pacific Challenge in Uruguay as part of preparations for their four-game November International series.

"Rugby Canada will work with World Rugby in conducting a global search for a permanent head coach. Fulfilling this important role is critical for Rugby Canada and we will take the necessary time to find the right candidate," said Allen Vansen, CEO of Rugby Canada.

Pemberton Holmes
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