July 25th, 2024

Former Canadian international Phil Mack named attack coach for Canada men’s 15s side

By The Canadian Press on January 18, 2024.

Canada's Phil Mack, centre, passes the ball during first half international rugby action against the Maori All Blacks, in Vancouver on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. Phil Mack, a veteran of both the national band 15s sides, has been named attack coach for the Canadian 15s men's rugby team. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Phil Mack, a veteran of both the national sevens and 15s sides, has been named attack coach for the Canadian 15s men’s rugby team.

Mack, who has been serving as head coach of Rugby Canada’s developmental Pacific Pride side, succeeds former British Lion Rob Howley who returned to his native Wales after his three-year contract with Rugby Canada ended late last year.

Rugby Canada said Mack will remain technical lead of the Pacific Pride.

The Victoria scrum half won 59 caps for Canada between 2009 and 2019, competing at both the 2015 and 2019 World Cups. Mack also represented Canada in 52 international sevens tournaments, winning gold at the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games and competing at the 2009 and 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens.

Mack signed with the Seattle Seawolves in 2017, winning back-to-back Major League Rugby titles as player-coach in 2018 and 2019.

“Phil is a standout individual with immense leadership qualities,” Canada head coach Kingsley Jones said in a statement. “He is a student of the game, has a huge work ethic, and genuinely cares about the players, and these are some of the key characteristics required to be an elite coach.

“He has vast experience as a player and has done the hard yards over the last six years or so as a full-time coach, making many personal sacrifices and stepping up to lead players and teams, like the Seattle Seawolves, to great success. He’s done a fantastic job leading the Pride and is a standout candidate to step up to the national team coaching staff.”

Mack joined the Pride as an assistant coach in September 2020, moving up to head coach in 2021. Rugby Canada says 20 Pride players have gone on to sign MLR contracts, with 13 players earning their first caps for Canada’s Men’s Rugby Team and nine making their debuts with the sevens squad, since Mack joined the academy’s coaching staff.

“I am excited to take on this new opportunity and look to effect some positive change working with our senior national team while also continuing my work developing young talent with the Pacific Pride,” Mack said. “I fully understand the responsibilities and challenges at hand with getting Canada’s men’s rugby team back to where we want it to be, and it’s something I’m prepared for and excited about.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 18, 2024

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