Michael O'Connor steps down as Australia coach
February 25, 2014
Michael O'Connor has quit as coach of the Australian men's Sevens program, dealing a blow to the team's preparations and hopes for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this year and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
He cited family considerations as the contributing factor behind his decision.
"With the Sevens program recently moving to a full-time base in Sydney, and with the international travel to tournaments, it simply meant too much time away from home," he said. "Nevertheless, this move to Sydney is a real step forward for Sevens in Australia, and it aligns us with other countries chasing a gold medal at the Olympics in Rio in 2016.
"I believe that this young Australian squad will be a definite medal chance and now that they live and train in the same place, they will continue to improve and find ways to win."
O'Connor will continue to work with development athletes and to coach the national youth programs.
ARU chief executive Bill Pulver said that O'Connor had "provided strong leadership and stability" since his appointment in 2008. "We're delighted that Michael will continue to stay involved in our Sevens programs and we will use the months ahead to ensure there is a smooth transition to his successor."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
As Scotland decides its future, Scrum Sevens looks at a group of players who transcended rugby both for country and the British & Irish Lions
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup