USA RUGBY NEWS: Gary Gold appointed Men’s Eagles 15s Head Coach


As we thought…

“Gary brings an incredible amount of experience to this program. Not only from a coaching perspective, but his increased attention to development and pathways was an attribute we fully supported.”Dan Payne, USA Rugby CEO

For Immediate Release
Submitted by USA Rugby
October 2, 2017

Gary_Gold USA_Rugby Rugby_Wrap_UpLAFAYETTE, CO – USA Rugby announced today, the selection of Worcester Warriors Director of Rugby, Gary Gold, to lead coaching duties with the Men’s Eagles on the 15s side. With nearly 20 years of experience in coaching and executive roles, Gold brings multi-national rugby leadership to the position as the Eagles look to continue their growth domestically and on the global stage. 

“We are very fortunate to have recruited an individual with Gary’s experience, commitment and values.” said Dan Payne, USA Rugby CEO, “Myself and our hiring panel were more than just impressed with his rugby history. We saw a sincerity and skill set in Gary that fits perfectly with how we want this position to contribute toward the growth of rugby in America. Developing players, coaches and contributing toward grassroots growth were all areas that enthused Gary when we described the expectations of this role. We’re very happy with the result.

Gold joins USA Rugby after serving as Worcester Warriors Director of Rugby since January 2016, “Furthermore, I have to thank Worcester Warriors for their partnership and commitment in working together through this process.” Continued Payne, “The agreed approach allows for a seamless transition with the Warriors, and the ability to merge Gary’s identity into the Men’s program.” 

The hiring and review committee included USA Rugby High Performance General Manager Alex Magleby, former Men’s Eagle and current Saracen Chris Wyles, along with Dave Hodges, General Manager of the Men’s 15s National Team

This is an exciting time for rugby in America,” added Hodges, “It was important that we took our time in the process of hiring the Men’s National Team Head Coach and arrive at the best possible candidate. We believe that in Gary Gold, we have a coach who brings the highest level of international and professional coaching experience to the Men’s senior program.” 

Gold himself commented, “I’m very thankful for the opportunity to move to Colorado and contribute toward growing and developing the game of rugby in America. There’s a lot of hard work to be done with some tremendous potential.  Hard work, combined with the upside potential is what excites me about this position.”  

It has been made clearly obvious to me from numerous individuals within the organization that this position isn’t just about continuing the development of the Men’s National Team, although that is obviously a key focal point.” Continued Gold, “Equally important is the attention toward the development of coaches, being an ambassador for growth of the game in America and contributing toward the strong grassroots initiatives the union is putting forth.  Everyone must understand that all of these aspects lead us toward the continued development and achievements of the Men’s National team.” 

Gold holds a wealth of experience in Premiership Rugby with a resume including Newcastle Rugby Football Club and London Irish. In an interim role as Director of Rugby with Newcastle, the club would win 8 of their last 12 matches. With London Irish, Gold would initiate the London Irish Academy, supervising pathways to the senior roster. 

Gary brings an incredible amount of experience to this program.” Continued Payne, “Not only from a coaching perspective, but his increased attention to development and pathways leading into the elite level was an attribute we fully supported.” 

On an international stage, Gold has a long tenure with his home country Springboks. Initially joining the staff as a Technical Analyst in 2004, he would be promoted to Assistant Coach just four years later and continue in the role through 2011. During his time with South Africa, the Boks would win the Vodcam Tri Nations in 2009 and defeat the New Zealand All Blacks a record three consecutive matches, earning IRB Team of the Year. 

I would like to thank all management, staff and players of Worcester Warriors for the incredible support I have had in my short time here. I really appreciate their understanding of this new exciting opportunity I have.” Gold added, “This is an incredible group of players, who while maybe have not had all the results go in their favor, have tremendous courage and passion for this club. I know they will gradually grow to being a force in Premiership rugby. I wish them all the very best in the future” 

Known specifically for a technical and analytical approach to coaching, Hodges added, “With that experience and work ethic, Gary will leave no stone unturned as he guides this program through Rugby World Cup 2019.

About USA Rugby
Established in 1975, USA Rugby is the governing body for the sport of rugby in America and a Full Sport Member of the United States Olympic Committee. Currently headquartered in Lafayette, Colorado, USA Rugby is charged with developing the game on all levels and has more than 120,000 active members, with more than 40,000 playing collegiate rugby and 35,000 playing senior club rugby. USA Rugby oversees four national teams, multiple collegiate and high school All-American sides, and an emerging Olympic development pathway for elite athletes. It also hosts more than 30 national playoff and championship events each year as a service to its members. In October 2009, the International Olympic Committee announced Rugby Sevens (the seven-a-side version of the game) would appear in the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro, in which both the men and women qualified. Visit www.usarugby.orgfor more information.


Further Information:
Calder Cahill | Director, Communications and Digital Media | USA Rugby |

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Matt McCarthy comes to from their partner in the USA, RWU and MTM feature a stable of diverse contributors, with coverage that is both serious and with a wink. Find him on twitter: @Matt_McCarthy00
  • This leads to two questions: Who is the interim coach? What if that coach turns out to be great?

    • Aaron

      I asked the boss, I’m guess Scott Lawrence. This is a long term hire to established an elite coaching tree that spreads it’s roots to all 50 states. There were probably better coaches available that just wanted to coach and not develop coaches. They wanted a DOR.

    • 1stXV

      Kudos to Dan Payne in recognising that the next MNT Eagle head coach needs to be more about grass roots and pathways than about X’s and O’s. The sad fact of the matter is that I or anybody reading this post could coach the Men’s Eagles and they will still lose all 4 RWC2019 fixtures in Japan by double digits. Not because they are inferior or undedicated athletes but because they are at least 10-20 years behind their competitors. The first thing every international rugby coach sees when he coaches US ruggers is how big, strong and athletic they are. The second thing he sees is how incredibly unskilled they are. This is undeniable.

      There is virtually no eco-system in place in the US to produce highly skilled rugby players. How many high schools in America have a true 1stXV rugby program in place? By that I mean a freshman team, a JV team and a Varsity team all with appropriately skilled coaches. That is just the bare minimum – a true program consists of U55kg, U65kg, U15 followed on with the traditional 1st and 2nd XV’s. Heck, there are high schools in NZ that have 20+ rugby teams !!! Even if you find one they cannot exist in a silo, they need a dozen nearby schools with the same programs in order to compete.

      The US has the greatest University system in the world by a country mile. Student athletes from everywhere travel to America on athletic scholarships in dozens of sports – yet virtually none of them is for rugby. Olympic level athletes from every corner of the planet get scholarships in tennis, ice hockey, skiing, squash, golf, soccer, water polo, basketball, swimming, fencing, rowing, volleyball, track & field and lacrosse.

      What a pity the US in the year 2017 cannot offer a collegiate atmosphere in which true scholarships can be awarded to aspiring rugby athletes. Do you think that might be a good incentive for a young rugby coach to come to America with his family? A perfect example is John Plumtree, the assistant coach of the SuperRugby Hurricanes and the father of 2 of the best teenage rugby prospects in the world. Imagine being able to offer full rugby scholarships for his boys to attend Cal Berkeley or Stanford? Instead he has just accepted the defence coach role for the Japan national team. Jamie Joseph head coach, Tony Brown attack coach and now John Plumtree as defence coach. Look out for that Japanese team come 2019. Meanwhile the Eagles will lose their 4 games by a combined score of about 160-20.

      How many other incredibly skilled rugby coaches from around the world would flock to the US if their kids had a chance at a full rugby scholarship? Please do not bring up TitleIX as an excuse for this. It is a blight on every single national rugby administrator in America that rugby is not yet an NCAA sport. This should have been the first thing on every administrators mind for the past 30 years and if it was it would be sorted by now. Instead all they say is it’s an obstacle and there is nothing we can do about it.

      This is how you get to be #17 in the world.

      • Aaron

        Men’s Rugby will never be NCAA, ever. And that is because of Title IX. But Women’s Rugby is, and if we can get 40 Women’s NCAA Programs (18 in NIRA starting in ’18), with scholarships for at least half that. We’ll change the game.

        Now, does men’s Rugby need to be NCAA? No it doesn’t. If a college wants to support a High Performance Club environment they can. And that’s what you’ve seen at Life, Cal-Berkeley, Lindenwood and are starting to see at Indiana, Arizona, PSU, West Point, etc. Much of that is due to their Alumni which is awesome. Clemson is about to embark on a very expensive project that will put them on facility terms with West Point and they’re pushing towards being a high performance club. Teams in the Red River are getting serious, Texas A&M’s recruiting class only had two pure athletes in it, everyone else had played Rugby in Texas. And those athletes can burn on the pitch. So it’s really up the school’s first, and then to the Rugby Program’s alumni to fund it.

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