Rugby Canada adds Phil Mack to developmental academy coaching staff

Rugby Canada has added former Canadian international Phil Mack to its coaching staff.

Mack, who turned 35 on Friday, joins the coaching staff of the Rugby Canada men's development academy in Langford, B.C., as an assistant to head coach Jamie Cudmore. He succeeds fellow former international Adam Kleeberger, who has moved into a talent identification role based out of Vancouver.

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Mack, a mobile scrum half, earned 57 caps for Canada and was a member of the 2015 and '19 World Cup squads. He was also a star on the sevens circuit, ranking second in all-time Canada scoring (973 points) after appearing in 50-plus tournaments.

He spent 2018 and 2019 as a player-coach with the Seattle Seawolves of Major League Rugby. He was appointed assistant coach prior to the 2020 season. A member of the Toquaht First Nation, Mack also has been coaching with the Thunder Rugby indigenous program since its inception.

"Phil has extensive playing experience in both 15s and 7s, but it's his coaching experience that stands out," Canadian men's coach Kingsley Jones, who doubles as director of men's performance rugby, said in a statement.

"In three years with the Seattle Seawolves, they won the MLR title twice. He is hugely respected as a player and coach, and we look forward to supporting him on his coaching pathway."

Canadian women's assistant coach Maria Gallo, meanwhile, has been confirmed as a member of the World Rugby Coach Internship program for the 2021 Women's World Cup.

Rugby Canada says Gallo will be "fully embedded" for 12 months in Canada's World Cup management team as World Rugby targets a minimum of 40 percent of all coaches at the 2025 edition of the World Cup to be women.

Gallo was capped 55 times for Canada over an 11-year international playing career that saw her play in the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups. She also captained Canada at the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens.

Gallo, 42, also represented Canada in bobsled. She was elected to the Rugby Canada Hall of Fame in 2018 in the player category.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 18, 2020.

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