Written by Alex Goff    Tuesday, 29 November 2011 19:01    PDF Print Write e-mail
Checking in with Lou Stanfill
National Teams - USA Men

With American players at the height of their overseas seasons, it’s worth checking in on some other players who have been playing pro.

Tough guy Stanfill on the side of the scrum for the USA against Russia this past World Cup. David Brinton photoWhen last we checked Nic Johnson was weighing some options, and could well decide to remain in the USA. Same goes for John van der Giessen, and Lou Stanfill.

Like a lot of the USA forwards, these three needed a little physical and mental recovery time. We checked in with Stanfill, who played a season in Italy but is now back in the States.

“My physical health is good. Other than a couple nagging issues which I will address during this off season, I feel great,” said the former Cal All America.

The month in New Zealand was “pretty emotional … to say the least,” said Stanfill. “I feel recovered and rejuvenated on all accounts post-World Cup.

To unwind, I enjoyed my time off with my family and friends at home and played some sports that I have missed, like basketball.”

Stanfill is still looking ahead as a rugby player, and will work toward making his third World Cup squad in 2015. He is currently between clubs, but could still sign a pro contract in the New Year. If he doesn’t, he may well return to NYAC – just as Johnson could end up with Denver and van der Giessen with Utah.

All of those players will be looking ahead to trying out for a USA team with a new coach. We asked Stanfill if the USA Rugby leadership has asked for input from the players – readers may remember in 2006 the players submitted a letter to the USA Rugby Board complaining about being shut out of any decisions regarding a new coach then.

Nothing, it seems, has changed.

“The players are asked very little when it comes to manner of management and organization,” said Stanfill. “We have plenty of input to give, but the Board does not involve us in these manners.”

Written by Alex Goff    Sunday, 20 November 2011 22:37    PDF Print Write e-mail
Application Window Opens for Coaches
National Teams - USA Men

Friday USA Rugby officially posted the job opening for the Men’s National 15s team coach.

In a way, it’s a little funny because USA Rugby has been fielding job applications for the past six months, as coaches, mostly from overseas, were anticipating Eddie O’Sullivan not re-applying once his contract was up.

There are some US-based likely candidates, also. Here’s a list (you need to be a Premier Member to read this).

The many, many candidates will be reduced to a short list by USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville, and then submitted to USA Rugby’s Board for final consideration.

No one is really sure what the Board thinks about the type of coach the Eagles need. has been fairly vocal in supporting a US-based coach, one who knows who the players are. However, that doesn’t mean the Board is listening, or cares.

Melville was asked which way he thinks the wind is blowing, and said he didn’t know. Different scenarios are in play. Certainly it appears USA Rugby is looking to adjust the salary dichotomy within the national team coaching structure.

The Men’s 15s coach will still likely be the highest-paid job, but not by over 400% as it has been. In addition, the question of mentoring and developing USA-based elite-level coaches depends on who is hired.

“If the Board brings in someone overseas, we would probably continue to development of coaches in the US,” said Melville. The implication is, if a US coach is hired, he might populate his staff from all over.

Next on the horizon for any coach is what to do about scouting players. The National Collegiate All-Star Championships will change significantly in 2012. The men’s NASC doesn’t exist, but the Americas Rugby Championship will return – the question is, what can be created to bolster it.

Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Saturday, 19 November 2011 14:47    PDF Print Write e-mail
USA 15s MNT Head Coach Job Posted
National Teams - USA Men

The job opening for the USA Men's 15s National Team head coaching position was posted effective Friday, November 18, 2011.

The Head Coach position is responsible for all aspects of the Eagles Men’s program including planning and development, team preparation and oversight of administrative and logistical functions. The Head Coach will work with all National team Head Coaches, 7s and 15s, and work with all development pathway teams and their coaches.

The Head Coach will report directly to the USA Rugby Chief Executive Officer/President of Rugby Operations. The Head Coach will supervise Assistant Coaches, Team Managers, Athletic Trainers/Physiotherapists and others as assigned, and work closely with all National 7s and 15s coaches.

Responsibilities include:
• Applying an effective combination of personal attributes and skills, strong leadership and inspirational communication skills in order to manage a dynamic and diverse team environment.

• Identifying, assessing, selecting and recruiting player talent, locally and internationally.

• Designing, planning and implementing a coaching program that supports participants’ developmental needs including incorporating periodization, team and individual player development, game planning considering team, opponent and environmental characteristics and session planning based on evaluation of team and individual play.

• Overseeing the management of all administrative and logistical support for the program, staff and players including creation and maintenance of team plan and attendant budget, assessment of progress against plan and periodic reporting.

• Assisting the development of specialist, and age grade coaches to develop their own coaching skills and techniques.

• Liaising with the Coach Development Program, Regional Academies, Elite Coaches, and others to improve the standard of rugby throughout the United States based on standard practice.

• Assisting the USA Rugby Coach Development Program in developing the coaching skills and techniques of national, regional and elite level coaches such as assistant, specialist, and age grade coaches.

Any combination of experience and education that demonstrates:
• A passion for coaching at the international level.
• Ability to create a suitable international coaching environment.
• Ability to work with others in a pressured environment.
• 7s and 15s literate.
• A strong commitment to nurturing and developing coaches.
• A well balanced constructive interpersonal style.

Note: When you apply for this job online, you will be required to answer the following questions:

1. Are you currently eligible to work in the United States?
2. Have you ever coached Rugby?
Written by Press Release    Wednesday, 16 November 2011 13:53    PDF Print Write e-mail
USAR Release on O'Sullivan
National Teams - USA Men
BOULDER, Colo. -- After two years at the helm of the USA Rugby Men's National Team, the Eagles, Eddie O'Sullivan has decided to stay closer to home in Europe and not reapply for the Men's National Team coaching position that will open later this week.

"On behalf of USA Rugby, I'd like to thank Eddie for his time here and I think the Eagles' performance at the Rugby World Cup speaks volumes about him and the way he prepared the team," said USA Rugby CEO, Nigel Melville.

"Moving forward, we'll seek applications for the Men's National Team head coaching job and are looking forward to choosing the person who will continue to move both the Eagles and American rugby forward."

O'Sullivan took over the Eagles in 2009, after resigning as head coach of Ireland after leading the Irish during one of the most successful periods in Irish rugby history.

As coach of the Eagles, O'Sullivan was charged with developing American athletes, but also with developing his American coaching staff and imparting his knowledge of international coaching to them.  While at times the USA job wasn't as glamorous as coaching a Six Nations team like Ireland, O'Sullivan has always admired the spirit and heart of American rugby and the Eagles.

The Eagles showed that heart in the 2011 Rugby World Cup, winning a key matchup against emerging rivals Russia and gaining the admiration of thousands of fans in New Zealand and around the world by putting in impressive efforts against Ireland, Australia, and Italy.

His appointment as head coach in 2009 wasn't O'Sullivan's first foray into American rugby.  He was involved in coach development in the 1990s and was assistant coach of the Eagles in the 1999 Rugby World Cup.

USA Rugby would like to thank the coach for his contributions to the Men's National Team and wish him the best of luck in the future.

Written by Press Release    Wednesday, 16 November 2011 12:14    PDF Print Write e-mail
O'Sullivan Won't Return to Eagles
National Teams - USA Men

Eddie O'Sullivan coached the USA for three seasons. Ian Muir photoEddie O'Sullivan today announced that he is to move on from Head Coach to the USA Eagles and is now considering other options in rugby. The announcement, released by Baker Sports Management today, comes following the USA Eagles strong showing in the recent Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand. 

Confirming that he will not be seeking a renewal of his position Eddie O'Sullivan said 'I have thoroughly enjoyed my two and a half years as Head Coach to the USA Eagles, it has been a rewarding journey working with all the players and staff. I was delighted with our progress and overall performances in the Rugby World Cup but feel that it is now time for me to consider other options closer to home. The win over Russia and the performance against Ireland on 9/11 was particularly special. I would like to wish USA Rugby every success in the future.' 

John Baker, Eddie O'Sullivan's Manager, said that he had received some interesting enquiries and that Eddie and he could now look at these in earnest.

Eddie' O'Sullivan's Coaching Record: 


2009 - November 2011: Head Coach USA Eagles 
Overall Record: W 8 Lost 17
v. Tier 1 Teams (full test and A sides): W 0   L 11
v. Tier 2 Teams: W 7  L 6
v. Tier 3 Teams: W 1  L 0

2007 - Head Coach to the Barbarians (Defeated RWC Champions South Africa, Dec. 2007)

2005 - Assistant Coach to British & Irish Lions to New Zealand

2002 - 2008 - Ireland
.        3 Triple Crowns
.        6 Nations Runner-Up 4 times
.        Coached Ireland to highest IRB Ranking in history (3rd in 2003 & 2006)
.        Coached Ireland to 50 Test victories (Win Record - 64%)
.        Longest Serving Irish Coach in history (7 seasons)


1999 - 2001 - Assistant Coach to Ireland (Backs Coach)

 1997 - 1999 - Assistant Coach to the USA Eagles (Forwards Coach)

1995 - 1997 - Head Coach to Irish U-21 (Triple Crown 1996)

1995 - 1996 - Head Coach to Connacht

1990 - 1994 - Assistant Coach to Connacht


Rugby World Cups:
RWC 2011 - USA Eagles- Head Coach
RWC 2007 - Ireland - Head Coach
RWC 2003 - Ireland - Head Coach
RWC 1999 - USA Eagles - Assistant Coach
RWC 1991 - Ireland - Fitness Coach


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