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As with everything in our current time, it appears the stresses placed on life by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the rescheduling of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, are also factors in the situation. Many athletes were planning to shift their lives in new directions after the Olympics, but having to wait another year to do so can’t have been easy for some.

Tait declined to comment on the news, citing a confidentiality agreement.

Sandro Fiorino, the national fifteen-a-side coach will serve as interim sevens head coach until April and will be assisted by Maria Gallo, who is Fiorino’s assistant with the fifteens team.

Fiorino also declined to comment, citing a confidentiality agreement.

In April, Mick Byrne will take over as sevens head coach through the Tokyo Olympics. Byrne is Australian and Rugby Canada officials are working on his immigration paperwork, according to the Canadian Press. Byrne has worked as a skills development consultant with Rugby Canada in the past.

“The team remains united and focused on the ultimate goal of winning a medal at the Olympic Games and building a legacy that will empower the next generation on and off the field,” Rugby Canada said in a statement.

CEO Allen Vansen said Rugby Canada is taking the players’ concerns very seriously and are following their internal policies and procedures “that are in alignment with established national response guidelines and in a manner that reflects our values.”

“As per our policies and to reflect our commitment to confidentiality, we will update our community once the process has been completed,” he added.

In a plan announced last year, Tait was going to shift away from coaching and into a program director role; that shift had been delayed when the Olympics were re-scheduled because of the pandemic.

pjohnston@postmedia.com

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