Black Ferns Sevens coach Sean Horan is stepping down from coaching the Black Ferns Sevens squad.
Horan, who led the team to silver medal success at last month's Rio Olympics, has coached the team for nearly five years and said now was the right time to look for a fresh challenge.
“I’m immensely proud of the team, the players and the management,” he said. “It’s been a huge privilege to have been part of this amazing ride.”
Under Horan's leadership, New Zealand has won three out of the first four Women’s Sevens Series titles and finished second in the fourth season of the new-look series this year. The team is also won the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow in 2013
Horan came to the role when New Zealand Rugby launched the Go4Gold programme which aimed to attract women from all sports in order to build a strong national sevens team.
“We fell short of our goal in Rio, but we shouldn’t lose sight of what we’ve achieved. We’ve built a strong platform for the future and that’s a credit to the hard work our players and management have put in over the years.
Our vision was always to inspire young women to wear the black jersey and be very proud and I think we did that. The game now is huge. There are many clear pathways for young women to embrace sevens and aspire to wear the black jersey.
It’s hugely satisfying to have been part of this great adventure right from the beginning,” he said. “We started with a blank canvas and built a great team in a short period of time. I leave knowing my successor will come to the job with a strong high-performance programme established."
New Zealand Rugby will shortly advertise for the new Black Ferns Sevens coach. The four-year appointment will be through to the next Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.