Rugby Australia has confirmed Australian Men’s Sevens Coach Andy Friend will not have his contract renewed after it expires in July.
Friend, who guided the Aussie men to a drought-breaking tournament victory at the HSBC Sydney 7s in January, has been at the helm of the men’s program since January 2016.
Rugby Australia General Manager High Performance, Ben Whitaker recognised Friend for his contribution to the Men’s Sevens program and hoped he would remain with Rugby Australia in a new position being developed.
“Andy is an incredibly experienced Coach and he has done a first-class job in developing and implementing a quality professional program. He has demonstrated a great ability to advance players, on and off the field and produce an outfit that is now capable of competing with any team in the world.
“The Men’s Sevens program has been through a generational change under Andy and the performances of the team have become more consistent and high level, highlighted by their first World Series tournament win in six years at the Sydney Sevens earlier this year.
“When Andy departs he will leave a significant legacy with the Men’s Sevens program and we have already opened discussions with Andy about transitioning into another role within the organisation.
“Importantly, Andy will continue to lead the team into the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games next month with a goal of winning Gold on home soil.”
Whitaker said Rugby Australia had conducted a thorough evaluation of Coach options for beyond Friend’s current term and would announce the new Head Coach on Monday.