Former senior men's Assistant coach John Tait has been named interim head coach for the Canadian women's sevens and fifteens program.
Following the Women's Rugby World Cup in September Head Coach John Long stepped down from the post. With a heavy schedule with Rugby Alberta and being unable to commit to moving to Victoria full time, Long determined it was time to make room for a new coach in the position.
Tait, a former player and coach with the Canadian men's team along with professional stints in France and Wales, is pleased to be taking over the role.
"It is an honour to be at the helm of this national program - a terrific opportunity and I look forward to working with the women in achieving a number of goals this season," said Tait. "I've been working hard, along with all of the High Performance staff and Rugby Canada's partners, to plan a long term competitive schedule that will give the women the best opportunity to succeed as well as develop our domestic competitions that will support the National teams.
"I have always been impressed with the commitment the women have made to represent Canada and I will be striving to build on that by utilizing every available resource out there to ensure we reach our full potential. "
The senior women's team finished the 2010 season with a 6-3 record, and looks to improve on its sixth place finish at the Women's World Cup. The next World Cup is in 2014 - and the target for that event is a berth in the finals.
A big focus for the sport will be the Olympic status bestowed on Sevens - and the Canadian women are working hard to position the women’s game as medal contenders for Own the Podium (OTP) leaders, the Canadian Olympic funding agency that helps direct athletes and sports to medal success. The goal for the women' Sevens team is to get to the medal podium at the 2016 Rio Olympic games and a spot in the finals at the upcoming 2013 Sevens World Cup. Tait has worked as an assistant coach on the senior Canadian men's team since 2004 and will be leading both the 7s and 15s program during this interim period.