USA appoint new coach
USA Rugby announced that Australian Duncan Hall is to become their new head coach. Hall replaces Jack Clark who stepped down after the 1999 Rugby World Cup to concentrate on his duties as general manager of all USA national teams.
A former Wallaby second row and No. 8 with 15 caps for Australia from 1980 to 1983, Hall has also been Director of Coaching for the Queensland Rugby Union having played 75 times for the Reds.
Recently, Hall has coached Worcester in England and previously was the forward's coach for England Premiership club Leicester from 1996 to 1998.
The Eagles new coach is a surprise name but should be received as a welcome one as considerable interest has been brewing in the US to bring in someone from the Southern Hemisphere.
Commenting on this new job, Hall remarked "I'm excited by the challenge. The USA team has a bright future. With no illusions about the magnitude of the job at hand, I'm ready to get stuck in."
Though Hall is reportedly already working on team organisation and player assessment no other coaching changes have been announced as of yet. If the current staff is retained, Hall will join technical advisor Roger Gould as the second former Wallaby coaching the Eagles. Other current assistants include Michael de Jong (head coach,
Denver Barbarians) and Welshman Rick Humm. The Eagles lost their other assistant coach, Eddie O'Sullivan, in November when he returned to Ireland to become the National team's assistant coach under Warren Gatland.
The USA Rugby Union and its selection committee took full advantage of the Internet in soliciting potential candidates for the job. Posting the job application to the web, the union received a large number of responses, which were screened by a committee chaired by former national team coach Roy Cornbill. Hall will report directly to his predecessor, Jack Clark.
The Eagles will kick off their 15s season in June with the Pacific Rim tournament.
A one-off international against Ireland has also been announced followed by a probable tour of Wales and Scotland, which is tentatively scheduled for November.