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29 August 2013


Tolkin doesn't know what he is doing, and dismissing staff was only way for him to keep his job. Who will he seek out to assist now?
This move by Melville is similar to the hiring a current sevens player to be the coach. Nothing like Melville taking another shortcut.

What a mess - Melville, Roberts and Tolkin should all go.

I can state the following with some confidence.

1 - Tolkin will remain the Head Coach through the 2015 RWC baring his resignation or the team not qualifying as America 2 or in the playoff spot.

2 - Tolkin's new assistant coach hires will determine if his legacy.

Tolkin is facing an almost certain no win situation regarding his legacy. There are two likely ways it can go down, and one extreme longshot.

If Tolkin brings in assistant coaches that subjugate themselves to him (Bruce McLane, et al), the team will not buy in because they've lost confidence in Tolkin's game plan(s) and ability to instill them as a result of this summer's performance being an abject failure. Once a coach loses a team's confidence and support there is very little that can be done to get it back and the result of an extension of the "Tolkin Way" will be more mediocre to abysmal results. Net-net Tolkin's legacy will be that as the worst Eagles Head Coach in history.

If Tolkin brings in assistants with a game plan they can coach, the players buy into and they execute with good results, the players will become the charges of those assistant coaches and not Tolkin. Publicly, and in the record book, it will appear that Tolkin had succeeded. However, he will know that Act II of his Eagles coaching term will be that of him becoming and embracing the role of being a paper tiger.

Longshot is that Tolkin brings in a new crew of "yes men" and gets the players' buy in (again) and having success. This is highly unlikely.

Tolkin's Act I ended in a desperate and comical way when he decided to get into the team huddle minutes before kickoff of the second RWC Qualifier against Canada. As one commenter on another board aptly described the scene of Tolkin looking like a "red faced boy scout" screaming at his charges, a man old enough to be their father who never wore the jersey giving them inspiration minutes before battle. A vision of folly to set up Act II of this tale that is should end in either humiliation or personal heartbreak.

I look forward to sitting back and watching the show.

gainliners go!


The only thing melting faster than USAr's authority over college rugby is the Eagles. What a frickin laugh this administration is! The recession is over and USAr brought in an additional $2m, half from a players dues increase the other from IRB grants. Man, that CEO job is a good one if you can get it.

While I understand the dissatisfaction with Tolkin I am not gonna jump on the wagon and pillory the guy. He is a classic case of the wrong guy in the wrong job. This is all at the feet of Nigel Melville. That the Eagles are essentially a third world country (if that) is all about Melville demonstrating no ability to bring in funds to support the 15's and 7's national teams. We are not talking about a kings ransom of money to fund 45 players at $50 K a year (which WOULD attract some meaningful crossover talent). Add to that a truly qualified coach and maybe, just maybe the Eagles would make some headway. So, while I am as disappointed as anyone in the Eagles downturn and believe Tollkin should move on I am not sure who would replace him given the lack of leadership at the top.

Tolkin is a bum. This cowardly act tells us everything we need to know about Tolkin.

We're doomed I say, doomed!

Does Tolkin have enough leash to change his assistants? Melville and/or Roberts making the call possibly?

Either way 100% agree with the comment which says Tolkin and the team are sunk either way. Name one example where a coach fires his entire staff and turns around the team? Go on, any sport, any team? There aren't examples, because it doesn't work and smart organizations don't do it. If three coaches, the entire staff needs to be fired, this reflects so badly on the head coach that they are always fired as well.

The comment that better assistants will make the head coach, a coach in name only is reality. A figure head with no contribution to the team's plans. Or USAr appoints some similar type assistants to the three which got fired and team goes into the tank even worse than this summer's o'fer.

Screwed blue either way.

Has anyone ever considered it is the American rugby public who are at fault in this situation? It's been said before, and I'll say it again, Sir Graham Henry could't win games in the USA, and It's not because of Melville or Roberts, its because Rugby is still an obscure sport played by drunken morons in 90% of the games played in this country.

We'll never improve as a country if the player pool doesn't improve. People say "just fire the lot of them and get new players in there." Sorry, these are the best we have! No D3 player is going to come out of nowhere and be an Eagle all of a sudden, just like no crossover athlete is our savior.

Development takes time. If you lot aren't willing to give a new coach time to develop, you're part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Rugby Sage has hit the head of the nail so squarely there is nothing I could add.

Who asked you to add anything? I'm politely asking you to remove yourself from ever posting here again.

It's simple. Tolkin is way over his head, Melville is just seeking to keep his profile high in UK for next job and Roberts is still trying to pretend he's with the all blacks. Athletic performance.

We are done.


Sorry should say pathetic not athletic performance!

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