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Rugby Canada names Jamie Levchuk as interim chief executive officer

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Rugby Canada has appointed Jamie Levchuk interim chief executive officer while the search continues for a permanent successor for Allen Vansen.

Levchuk has served as the governing body's managing director of business operations since 2020, and held senior positions with Rugby Canada and the HSBC Canada Sevens since 2015.

Previous to joining Rugby Canada, Levchuk was director of events for the Vancouver Whitecaps and worked with the Rick Hanson Foundation, organizing committee for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and the Vancouver Canucks.

Levchuk has been involved in Canadian rugby for more than 30 years as a player, coach, referee and administrator.

“The process to identify the next CEO of Rugby Canada is well underway,” Rugby Canada board chair Sally Dennis said in a statement. “In the interim, we are confident that Jamie will provide the leadership required to ensure delivery of key initiatives during the first half of 2022.”

Vansen announced in late November that he was leaving Rugby Canada at the end of January, saying the time was right to move on.

Dennis said at the time that his departure came by mutual agreement, as part of a "general reset'' in the sport's governing body.

Rugby Canada is currently undergoing a high-performance review, sparked in large part by complaints from the women's sevens squad. Those findings are expected soon.

The men's and women's sevens teams have undergone considerable turnover since the Tokyo Olympics and the men's 15s side, after failing to qualify for the 2023 World Cup, has time before the next qualifying cycle.

Vansen joined Rugby Canada in 2016 after serving as executive vice-president for operations, sport and venue management for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2022.

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press