Canadian men's rugby sevens head coach Henry Paul steps down

LANGFORD, B.C. — Henry Paul has stepped down as head coach of Canada's men's rugby sevens team after three years leading the squad.

Rugby Canada said in a release Tuesday that it has agreed to release Paul from his contract "with immediate effect."

Paul's time at the helm included an eighth-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics and a quarterfinal appearance at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England. The team finished a program-best fourth overall on the World Rugby Sevens Series circuit in 2021.

Paul, a 48-year-old from Tokoroa, New Zealand, joined Rugby Canada's coaching ranks in 2018 as defensive coach for the men’s national team that earned qualification for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

He took over the men's sevens program in May 2019 on an interim basis following the departure of Damian McGrath before being named full-time head coach at the start of that year's world sevens series.

Assistant coach Sean White will lead the men's sevens team as they depart for back-to-back HSBC Series stops in Dubai and Cape Town.

"I'm really proud of my time here in Canada. I've worked with some incredible colleagues and coached some world class players, experiencing too many incredible moments to mention but ones that I will always cherish," Paul said in a release. "Now is the right time for me to focus on my family and the next challenge in my career."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 22, 2022.

The Canadian Press