No rush to find new Eagles coach
August 28, 2001

A decision on who'll become the new head coach of the US Eagles is not expected before early 2002.

USA Rugby is looking for a replacement for Duncan Hall. Hall, who took over as head coach from the long-serving Jack Clark at the start of 2000 season, reached the end of his 2-year term in July and his contract has not been extended.

Director of the men's national team, Scott Compton, said there was no rush to find a replacement, "We wanted as big a window as possible to find the right candidate. Our eyes are wide open and we're happy to consider all candidates.

"We have a unique set of issues in the US and I don't know that it's comparable to anywhere else in the world."

Compton noted that at this point in time, midway through a World Cup cycle, the team's management wanted to assess where the Eagles were headed before deciding on what style of coaching would best suit their build-up to the 2003 RWC in Australia and New Zealand.

"We recognize our limitations and that we are resources poor. We've given it a lot of thought and in an ideal world to extend Duncan's contract would have been an option, but we've spoken at length with him, management and the players and have decided on this option.

"What we've done is set up a situation whereby we can conduct a thorough and comprehensive search for a coach."

The Eagles are scheduled to play South Africa in early December and will be guided in the lead up to that game by assistant coaches, former Eagle Tom Billups and New Zealander Joe Leota who also coached San Diego club side OMBAC in 2000.

Compton added that the test against the Springboks, which actually falls in between the 2001 and 2002 seasons, would serve as a good measure of the Eagles' progress as a rugby side by pitting them against one of the best teams in the world.

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