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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 21 November, 2018
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Former Ulster boss Mark Anscombe appointed Canada coach

The Kiwi has been tasked with qualifying Canada for the next World Cup.

The 59-year-old guided Ulster to back-to-back Heineken Cup quarter-finals.
The 59-year-old guided Ulster to back-to-back Heineken Cup quarter-finals.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

FORMER ULSTER BOSS Mark Anscombe has today been announced as the new head coach of Canada.

The 59-year-old takes the reins from Kieran Crowley, who had been in charge since 2008 before resigning in January to take over Treviso.

Anscombe left Ulster in June 2014 after just two seasons at Ravenhill. Under his tutelage, the province reached the quarter-finals of the European Cup in consecutive years and lost a Pro12 final to Leinster.

His departure came in somewhat acrimonious circumstances, however, after the New Zealander had originally agreed a one-year contract extension to stay on until 2014-15.

The void left by Anscombe in Belfast was filled on an interim basis by the now Ulster Director of Rugby Les Kiss.

“It’s an exciting time for Canadian Rugby,” Anscombe commented. “There’s some work to be done, but the foundation is in place and I look forward to moving to Canada and working with all of the players, staff, board of Directors and provincial Unions to continue growing and developing the sport across the country.

“Qualifying for the 2019 Rugby World Cup is in my bigger picture and hugely important for Canadian Rugby, but the key for any team, especially at this level, is developing depth and that’s going to be a big focus of mine moving forward.”

Canada, who lost all four of their group games in last year’s World Cup, including a 50-7 loss to Ireland, will face Japan, Russia and Italy in June.

Anscombe will be tasked with improving their current ranking of 19th and inherits a squad that will be centrally contracted for the first time.

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Ryan Bailey

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