Tim Walsh to step down as Aussie 7s coach after Commonwealth Games
Australian Women’s Sevens coach Tim Walsh will step aside following the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast after five seasons in charge of the all-conquering Women’s side.
Walsh led the Australian Women’s side to the Gold Medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero and secured Australia’s first-ever World Sevens Series title in the same year.
The team currently leads this season’s HSBC World Series after a resounding round one tournament win in Dubai in December.
The 38-year old will leave his post on April 30 to spend time with his growing family, wife Roza and their son Tiger.
“When I got a call from David Nucifora (then High Performance Manager) six years ago offering me a Coaching Coordinator role for both Australian Rugby Sevens teams, I would never have imagined how this opportunity would transpire; an Olympic Gold medal, a World Series Championship, the growth of a new genre and era in women’s contact sport as well as lifelong friendships,” Walsh said.
“I believe every job has a shelf life and as a group we’ve achieved the pinnacle of success in our sport. I move on with a heavy heart but I know that the timing is right for the program to progress and for me to explore new challenges”.
Originally appointed Rugby Sevens Program Coaching Coordinator in July 2012, Walsh now boasts the highest winning percentage of any Australian professional coach (84%).
Current assistant coach and former Eastwood mentor John Manenti will take the reins at end of April until the completion of 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens with Rugby Australia to commence their search for a new head coach ahead of the 2018/19 Sevens World Series.
“Tim has been a tremendous asset for the Sevens program for a number of years and he has left a lasting legacy for the game in this country, and for Women’s sport as well,” Rugby Australia High Performance GM Ben Whitaker said.
“He’s a fantastic coach and I’m very confident he won’t be lost to Australian Rugby for long. He’s got a growing family and has sacrificed a lot over the years with all the time spent away on the road.
“John Manenti is a superb fit to takeover on an interim basis. He’s been with the team for a number of years, including the Olympic campaign, and has a lot of runs on the board as a Head Coach for Eastwood in the Shute Shield competition and NRC experience,” Whitaker said.