« On parents and scoreboards | Main | Eagle staff picks spawn player ID hopes »

08 April 2009


Look at it this way. There are 87 days to go for the US / Canada WC Qualifier. Everything leading to that should be preparation for that one match.

Looks like "Amateur Hour" has begun for the Eagles. This is kind of reckless in my opinion. You have a bunch of assistant coaches that have been coaching college kids and amateurs in the park while girlfriends, wives and dogs watch (i.e. Super League). Either Eddie wants a bunch of patsies, or he just doesn't care.

What coaching qualification does Sherman and Payne have, this is a joke. I feel sorry for the future eagles if this is the coaching staff we offer.

Payne's resume is more than sufficent for this type of role. More than that he knows the american rugby player and how to connect/motivate them better than most import coaches would. Since you ahowed you ignorace of the american rugby landscape with your previous comment I will not bother listing his accomplishments/resume for you.

From what I can tell Sherman was part of the Cal set-up and Payne part of the Thorburn 2007 WC squad and OMBAC. Each has been at SDSU the last couple years and have had some success, but many attribute much of the success coming from the fact that they got the squad into the Varsity weight room with strength coaches. Not sure how Payne can do his non-coaching USA Rugby job from Boulder CO and be a dedicated coach in San Diego CA. Hodges has coached Denver for about 2 years and took the All-Americans to New Zealand in 2006 or so. Not sure how much serious coaching he has been doing for the last 5 years. I guess Eddie figures enough guys are getting quality coaching in overseas set-ups and that will pull them through to qualify for the 2011 WC.

You guys are bunch of whiners, that can't be pleased. First you cry for American coaches, and now that we have a coaching staff full of them they're not good enough for you? Maybe you guys should do the American rugby community a favor and go take up water polo. We'd all be better off without you deadweights.

No kidding. How else are these guys going to get experience? There is no question that these guys are a lot more accomplished than I am and I suspect most others on here as well.

It's a shame it took the Scott Johnson affair to get to the point where US rugby people are being groomed.

But the message appears to have been received and there is little sense looking back now.


Excellent point. It will be interesting to see how all the bloggers who wrap themselves in the flag respond if the USA falters over the summer with this cadre of home grown coaches. I can hear them now, it will all be Eddie's fault, since he is the odd foreigner in the bunch. Let's rally folks and get behind the program for once.


Give it a rest, that amatuer hour competition has produced 80% or more of the Eagles squad on a consistent basis over the years. Hodges coached a number of players at Denver who played at higher levels such as the NA4, USA Selects and the Eagles, i.e. Aylor, Bokhoven, Brown, Whitcher, Wilfey, Van Der Geissen, Managan, Morello, Williams and others. So, he has obviously coached high level players. We have to start somewhere, both with home grown American players and coaches.


Sherman's resume:

- 2-Time All-American player and captain at Cal.
- Former Eagle
- Overseas player experience at Randwick (Australia)
- Overseas player experience at Oxford
- Assistant Coach at Cal
- co-Head Coach at SDSU
- HP Western Region Director for USA Rugby
- Current Age-Grade Rugby Director for USA Rugby

Since his time as a decorated player at the high school and collegiate level, Sherman has played internationally, coached in various positions, and basically embarked on a professional career in rugby since graduating from Cal in 2003.

If we are truly going to develop the game domestically, guys like Matt Sherman and Dan Payne are EXACTLY who we need to target. They are young, have demonstrated passion and dedication to the game, and are invested in seeing rugby develop in the USA.

They have both also probably forgotten more rugby in their young lifetimes than many of the people reading this blog will ever know. I'm convinced that we are finally headed in the right direction with these hirings as part of the EOS team.


but a florida high school team is up against a football team in an online vote to win a 1000 dollars from a radio station. lets flex the rugby community's muscles a bit eh? no way a high school football team needs more money.
vote here:

Another topic change - with regards to the college playoffs.

I've seen so many posts (mostly on erugbynews) about how the pac coast should get so many more seeds to the national playoffs. I hope they ready this post...

How can you possibly think the 5 seed in PC should go over the #1 seed anywhere else. The goal of the tournament is to crown the BEST team. Not accurately identify 2-16.

If you can't win your region then you can't finish #1 - any involvement after that is a bonus. It's a waste to even have the #4 team from any region in the tournament. (and no I don't care how far they may have advanced in the past - I would rather reward a team that has performed with consistancy over the season than a team that got lucky for 3 games...)

What happened to Luke Gross? First Nigel Melville announces him as the new USAR lineout specialist AND eagles assistant coach. The next day, a second release corrects the assistant US coach part. Now it looks like he's out of the mix. Has anyone heard why?

All of these assistant coaches will be following the plan laid out by EOS. They will learn more in one week then they would have learned in a lifetime under SJ or PT.

Stop your complaining and put your faith in this coaching mix.

Go on, BC22!

Anyone who reads this blog knows by now that a certain percentage of readers/posters on this blog just whine about everything (Really?). It's "all wrong", it's all going to hell in a handbasket... but never a better solution.

The Eagles could win the RWC and these guys would complain about the fact that now they have a target on their backs. Haters and whiners.

Charge my card 2 cents...

This is a good thing. We have one of the sages of world rugby, who truly understands and respects the american sporting landscape, grooming home grown americans who know a thing or two about rugby and can translate EOS to joe lunch pail american ruggers and raw uber-athletes in other sports. I believe this is perfect. Hey, the former arrangements had us pissing in the wind, why not do it this way? yeah, we may not see immediate results but this is the best horse to bet. Let's back EOS and his yanks.

Having said that, what DID happen to Luke Gross?! Man do we need him?

Good luck Eagles. I'll be there in Santa Clara shouting myself hoarse.

ARN's podcast a few weeks ago explained how Nigel Melville jumped the gun a bit when he announced Luke Gross and one other former Eagle as coaches. Then they, USA Rugby, did a 180 and became silent again about it. Sure we'll hear something about it again soon. Also, good luck to EOS and all the new coaches with the Eagles. The negative posters, as you all have said, will NEVER be happy. I'm hoping this regime will have better luck, they are a smart bunch of guys. The WC qualifier should be the immediate focus, with all other games leading to that more or less a training camp look for the coaches to see the future Eagle hopefuls in game time action. Best of luck to the players and coaches. Big job ahead of ya.

I guess the standard of coaches who read this blog is lower than i previously thought. I agree we need American coaches at the helm,when they are ready. All of these will benefit greatly under EOS. However their coaching resumes are very thin. None possess a coaching qualifacation.Each should be given a mentor.Being an international player and coaching age grade or college does not make you an MNT coach-time and experience.

Four good hires out of five. I hope the list was 20 deep and these fellas were vetted and not pushed forward by Melvin.

Overall very good for USA Rugby. This is not in-line with typical Melville waste product, this is actually going to benefit USA Rugby in the long term.

Few things: It seems some of the coaches which floated their own names anon as possible assistant coaches are pissed-off EOS didn't agree. So they are calling into question those which got hired and even Eddie himself. Its just so transparent and sad. For at least one RSL coach, there is no coming back from this.

Next, what a cock-up with this Luke Gross hire. A truly nice man, with no coaching experience, gets hired by Melville as a SPECIALIST. The coaching specialist title suggest being a coaching expert in a given area. Well clearly individuals with no coaching experience can't be experts in the field. None of this is Luke's problem. He was offered a post playing job by Melville and he took it. This once again calls Melville into question. His executive decision making, timing and general vision for building an organization continues to be poor.

Finally, what is the plan for this new staff. Are they on contracts through 2011 with EOS, or are their positions more temporary ? Are the new employees full-time or part-time? Will the current USAR employees now hired for the Eagles be splitting their work load between their old jobs and new or should we expect others to now fill those union roles? How much does a 7 person coaching team cost our union?

We should disagree with those which believe we should leave all this with Melville, because he hasn't proven to be up to the task. The Luke Gross national team hire and next day retraction is only the latest example.

Blogs are a wonderful thing to hide behind,whine or say what you really think and use some witty name.EOS is no fool.I'm sure he picked some of these coaches and some were defaulted by budget. Do I think I could do one of these jobs. Yes. Would I want one ? NO.I am happy coaching a very professional SL team.EOS will do almost all the coaching and the others will watch and learn,and if they don't, he will get someone else.Its a great opportunity for some younger US born coaches with potential.Do I agree with the selections, who cares. EOS lives with them not me.
But thats what blogs are for,to muse!

It seems to me that these coaches were the ones that the union could afford. Dan, Bill and Matt are already union employees. My guess is that the others are part-time help.
Anyone care to disagree.

It seems like the unions job to inform the membership on these types of roles, if they want us to "fall in love".

Maybe NM will inform us on his personal blog.

The comments to this entry are closed.


About Comments

  • Gainline.us values readers' thoughts and wisdom. While correspondents are encouraged to use given names, aliases in combination with a valid, publicly accessible email are acceptable. Profanity will be edited and unverifiable identities unpublished. Thanks to all who write in for helping to advance our collective understanding of American rugby, as it is and could be.

Corrections & Amplifications

  • Gainline.us values accuracy and fairness. If we fall short of the goal, we promptly correct errors or oversights. Strikethroughs denote text which has been replaced. *Asterisks* denotes text added after the initial post.
My Photo