Geraint John will lead Australia at the Commonwealth Games.
The former Wales assistant coach Geraint John has been appointed as the new head coach to the Australian men's Sevens team.
The 51-year-old Welshman takes over the reins from Michael O'Connor next month and will be in charge for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July. He will then lead Australia in to the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series, which kicks off on the Gold Coast in October - the first tournament of the Olympic qualification period.
He joins the Wallaby set-up after almost eight years in Canada. He left Wales in 2006 to take up a role as Rugby Canada's High Performance Manager and then switched role to their sevens coach in 2010.
He also acted as the Canadian national 15-a-side's assistant coach and earlier this month led Canada to its first IRB Sevens World Series Cup Final in Glasgow.
After a playing career that included representative honours with Wales A, Wales B and selection for the Barbarians, John moved into coaching in 1992 and spent six years with Cardiff RFC and Cardiff Blues as Assistant Coach.
He also served under legendary Kiwi Coach Graham Henry as Skills Coach with the Welsh National Team from 1999-2001 and had a spell as Head Coach of the Wales National Sevens team.
"Australian Rugby is steeped in history and, in my opinion, the role of Men's Sevens Head Coach is one of the best team jobs in the sport," said John.
"While the prospect of coaching at the Olympics is an extremely appetising one, my first priority is to prepare and work with the players and to get to know them at the centralised base and then in competition at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July.
"However, I am under no illusion that one of the key targets of the ARU is for the Men's Sevens team to secure a gold medal in Rio. While you can never guarantee anything in sport - and especially the Olympics - I am delighted to be given the opportunity to give us the best possible chance of bringing back gold in 2016.
"However, the first step for this team is to qualify. We need to make sure we have the best structure and program to make this happen."
"We have many big challenges ahead in the coming months but a challenge is something I thrive on. Michael [O'Connor] has left behind an extremely talented squad, one of the youngest in the World Series and one that is continuing to improve."
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
Winger Alex Cuthbert is hoping get plenty of ball on the front foot against Australia tomorrow at Twickenham as Wales seek to halt the Wallabies' 10-match winnning streak which stretches back almost seven years.
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.
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