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17 February 2012


"The Eagles selected the second-most non-native ('America qualified') players at the World Cup."

You really can't stop pushing this lie, no matter how many times I refute it. The 'source' you linked to for this 'information' was incorrect, and didn't count American Samoans (i.e. people from American Samoa, a U.S. territory) as Americans. And I refuse to believe you don't read your comments section, so I'm left to assume that you don't mind repeatedly telling a lie if it fits your agenda.

Any truth to the rumor that Bruce McLane will be on the coaching staff?

Word is PSU Coach Don Ferral will be taking over as Attack Coach or whatever. East Coast Take-Over indeed.

That is the funniest thing I ever heard...Ferrel and McLane coaching international rugby. What a leg slapping hoot!

Elmer Fudd and Don F in the same dressing room - shoot that would be a blast!

Can't wait to see the battle between the two East Coast guys over the dudes that play Eagles sevens and fifteens. Eddie and Al's fights put the players in the middle. Will Mike give way to Al or Al to Mike?

Talk about Reality TV? Who needs The Situation and Snookie, I don't!

This will mark the end of the East Coast conspiracy theory that the East players are overlooked.

Can't wait to see the new look Eagles!

Eagles + East Coast = Tier 3

Well, for once Nigel was right, whichever coast he hired from, the opposite coast would start a whinging frenzy. I'm in the middle. Get a coach in place and get the summer internationals scheduled so we can buy tickets.

Who ?

The Eagles get outdrawn my a dozen of the college sides, I'm not sure it matters where or whom they play. The Eagles at Glendale are good for about 700 paying fans.

As for all the east-west selection stuff, don't worry Tolkin will be hoping to pick the best team available just to keep the Eagles scores respectable. A couple losses to kick off his term will only mold the setting of a winless tenure. We best get some tier three teams on the schedule if the Tolkin Eagles are to get a victory over the next two years. Don't look for Boulder to come to his rescue either. Melville will be distancing himself with a "you guys wanted an American" excuse.

Poor Mike.

Is it just me or is USA Rugby going backwards compared to Canada. Compare the experience of the two coaches. I mean is this a joke or what?

@eagle hopeful...it's an optical contusion, canada is moving forward, (as is apparently every other 3rd tier) and we still have our boots stuck in the proverbial mud. in this analogy the "mud" can be about 30 different things.

Not sure if hiring a coach with HS and RSL experience is the way forward. Nice to hire a guy from the USA, but let's get real here we need coaches with experience in professional leagues. Don't we?

Canada has a good coach and continuity from a very successful RWC

Georgia has retained their Scottish coach in a player development role and brought in two coaches from the NZ - http://www.espnscrum.com/other/rugby/story/156166.html

Russia has retained continuity. See http://www.espnscrum.com/other/rugby/story/156365.html

Japan is ready to hire Australian Eddie Jones who has been coaching professionally in Japan for a few years now and will be well positioned to select and train a team to play in a style that suits the nation.

Romania has a national as coach, but he has played in 4 world cups up till 2007 and has All Black prop Steve McDowell as an assistant coach.

The PI teams are loaded with players plying their trade in France, England, Australia and New Zealand. Not sure it matter who their coach is they have more than enough talent to beat USA even if they treat the game as a pick-up game and meet at the airport 3 days before the game.

We have a HS teacher who has only coached amateurs. Does this make sense? I'm afraid these actions are on par with decisions being made in Chile, Uruguay, Spain, Portugal and Namibia and not by a union with ambition to be a top Tier 2 nation.

Eagle Hopeful, you are way off base on this, my bet is that Tolkin makes this board look good and that is the only problem I have with the selection.


I think Tolkin is over his skis and his two year term will end with an IRB appointed coach replacing him.

"Eagle Hopeful" has a pretty obvious agenda. Ignore the troll

Eagle Hopeful - wanna know more high school teachers/coaches who ended up making it big and turning around a franchise at the highest level of their sporr... Mike Holmgren and how about Paul Brown.

Now im not saying he'll turn out like the Walrus or Brown, but sometimes it happens and sometimes a hire like this is exactly what you need. Im all for this hire. Good luck!

Ummmmm wasn't Graham Henry a High School teacher and principal before becoming the WRC Champion AB"s head man?

Yes Graham Henry was a a physical education teacher at two high schools that were rugby powerhouses. Then before he became coach of the All Blacks he did the following:

1973–1981 Auckland Grammar School
1982–1991 Kelston Boys' High School
1992–1997 Auckland (NPC champs 4 times)
1996–1998 Blues (Super 12 champs twice)
1998–2002 Wales
2001 British and Irish Lions
2003 - Blues (defensive coach & Super 12 champs)
2004–2011 New Zealand

I have nothing against a guy being a high school teacher and coach becoming the national team coach, but I would prefer he did it in a rugby nation.

Good piece on Mike Tolkin.
Highlighting the elimination of the Club and Collegiate Territorial and National Championships - which served as important and equitable Eagle selection vehicles in this huge country of ours - was one of the major missteps visited upon us by our imported Chairman and CEO.

Good luck Mike.

You are smart not to quit your teaching position.

National 15's will be more of a donkey in two years than it was last year.

The most important coaching position in US rugby is going to be Caravelli's replacement.


What's the story with the 5 yellow cards in the Stanford game against Santa Clara? Heard Sherman was going ballistic. Anyone there?

Thats what happens when you start grabbing players' testicles 3 feet from the ref's face.



Thanks NTLAH, I just threw up in my mouth.
And, wow. Loving all the sudden Anti-Tolkin comments. This board has been a nationalistic soundboard for an American coach. Now that USA Rugby hired one, you can't bash him enough. Holy cow, get a grip people. So now you're praising Canada, Georgia, Russia and Japan for having foreign coaches. We had Eddy and you couldn't want him out fast enough. Now we have Mike and you're already bagging on him before he packs his bags. I love rugby fans. Total idiots.

You do realize that there isn't just one commenter here, but a number of people with at least as many opinions? Those who hated foreign leadership certainly made their feelings known. Now one guy lists a few foreign coaches in a few other countries and that's evidence that rugby fans are idiots who can't make up their minds?

I guess your last sentence was not meant to exclude you from rugby fandom.

Eagle Hopeful - The Eagles could have hired the greatest rugby coach in the history of the game and if they still had the talent level that we had for the 2011 RWC and they only played 3 or 4 games a year together the results would be the same year after year.

So no matter if he has an international experience or not, I think this Tolkin hire is a great move. He needs to cut his teeth on the international game somewhere. Why not here. He certainly cant do any worse than the last guy.

Concerning this ref and his cards. Too many cards! The guy must be a fool with an ego the size of Africa.

Santa Clara's win over Stanford must not be a fluke. They played CPSLO close and have now defeated Stanford.

Tolkin is a good hire. A good coach who has paid his dues. But, he is going to work for some real as*holes, without a plan, with fewer resources. World rugby is getting better and US rugby under Melville and the Roberts Board is getting worse. Tolkin will not have success, because we needed to hire Jesus if we want to win in this situation, not a NY school teacher. Is this bashing Tolks? No. Is it bashing the fools running USAR? Yes.

Some of the USAR administration's supporters who comment here can't understand we love the Eagles but hate USAR. We can like Tolkin and at the same time dislike his bosses in Boulder.

Last point, the foreign takeover of USAR continues. The foreigners running USAR were smart to hire an inexperienced American international coach like Tolks. They can keep control, boss him as they see fit while removing themselves from the firing line. The firing line the rightly deserve to be in front of.

Who picked the coach you ask? Bill Middleton the KIWI nobody on the USAR Board was a key member. His role was to make sure that by appointing the next coach, Tolkin, the USAR Board didn't lose any control. Middleton wanted to make sure of Tolkins staff for one and that he would remain positive in his public comments about the Board.

Francios the sell-out international athlete rep. Of course he is foreign how else would Roberts allow him on the Board.

Melville, "are you going to be OK with almost no budget"? "good, then as long as you don't publicly complain the job is yours for two years".

The takeover continues, only with Mike Tolkin as insulation. Kind of a smart move on their part.

"disgruntled congress member", that could be anybody with a brain.

OK tinfoil, so because Tolks doesn't have "world class players" we shouldn't have any expectations of the vast amounts of money which has been and will continue to be spent on the Eagles?

Maybe we should give USAR a pass on all the things they are supposed to be accountable for? That would suit them wouldn't it. They could just tell us to "fall in love with rugby" while they continue to rip off the US rugby dues payer.

Tolks will do just fine in a situation which breeds failure. He will do as well as Thornburn, Johnson and OSullivan and cost less. Is that the objective? To continue this failure?

Our US Eagle players are as good as the other tier two's which are pulling away from us. None of the tier two have world class players they are just getting better and they are continuing to defeat the Eagles at an alarming rate.

Anyone who could type the words "USAR is moving in the right direction" is seriously part of the problem. Most likely part of the regime.

Tinfoil hats is Bill Middleton

If you are going to misspell my name and call me a moron, at least use your own name to do it. To the extent it matters, which it does not, I think Tolkin is a great choice for coach of the Eagles. And, despite not knowing who you are, I'm comfortable in my belief that I've done more positive things for the sport of rugby in this country over the last 5 years than you have. Carry on.

Pat don't worry about these USAR pretenders. Fools they are.

After Cal whacked Arizona 82-0 some were predicting a cricket score when they played ASU. However the Sun Devils showed up for the game in a big way and made Cal work for a 59-7 victory.

Now ASU has served notice on the United States Military Academy-West Point, by taking the Black Knights deep into the match before losing to Army 16-9. Army also gave up 17 points to Arizona in an unimpressive 54-17 win earlier.

Army the east #1 team, lost last year at home in the quarters to west #2 Utah. Looks like status quo for 2012.

Army 16 ASU 9, tied at the half.

Pat may be a douche, but he actually does have an end game in mind that is for the betterment of collegiate rugby...

Unlike others who claim to have an idea of what a better collegiate game will be, then fail to lead by example...and mire USA Rugby in grievances filed to clean up messes that they created for themselves by dropping out of the CPD.

Perhaps a bit premature in judgment, because maybe they're just doing their due diligence and will drop after being told "no" again...but I really doubt it. I see this becoming a waste of already limited resources and a drain on the collegiate game.


Didnt ASU get smoked by PSU at Vegas?

Gary Lane has an amazing rugby mind and I expect huge things from the Sun Devils in the future.

Chase@... I do not consider this a valid email. Unpublished.

Come on Kurt, you could have left that post up there. It didn't bother Pat Kayne.

Mike IS the right guy, and to the uneducated idiot who,posted about the Eagles getting 700 fans in Glendale, you are misinformed. It was sold out, for the most recent match, and people were outside the stadium watching from the streets because they couldn't get tickets.

We need a leader, not a forgein rugby mastermind, Tolkien is the guy.

Regarding the rugby league posternand college recruitment. Those league guys can certainly spin it. The league rep for new york city is a certain teddy grabowski who is currently ona deportation order from homeland security. Bull shit artists.

Like the blog, appreciate the share!

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