« Dartmouth, Harvard in Ivy shootout | Main | Cal: the Eagle forward factory »

16 November 2015


Agree. Mike is uniquely positioned to know the 'lay of the land' so to speak. And it is one huge land. Has USARFU invested in increasing Mikes talent by sending him abroad to watch some top teams train? I can't imagine he would not be welcome. It is in the rugby world's best interest to get USA up to speed fast. I see another high priced import failure on the horizon. Mike has done very well with what is in front of him.

Too bad Steinberg is an American citizen with American parents.

I am so tired of this conversation. The basis of America is that we are all immigrants. We had Eddie an Irish coach and almost all american assistant coaches. People complain and want an American head coach and guess what, all but one are foreign assistant coaches. Mike Friday and Chris Brown have done an amazing job because they believe in us as Americans an identify with us. This shouldn't be a conversation.

@Brit47 Assuming you're referring to Mike Tolkin you must be nuts to think he would ever entertain going abroad for coaching training. He is a My Way OR The Highway kind of guy. The SOB should have been fired long ago.

you may not agree with his decisions but he is not a SOB, there can be good people you dont agree with,

Hopefully the new Pro Rugby league will provide a better pipeline for elite domestic coaches. We may still need an international national team head coach in the near term but he quality of domestic coaches must be improved over time. Paid opportunities in the Pro League are a new option above the lightly paid coaching positions at the ARP/PRP level. Coaching pipeline should be ARP/PRP and Elite College to Pro then on to the Eagles.

I hope the Pro League is successful, but... what quality coach is going to work for 6-8 games? If they have a job will they quit to be in the new league?

I'm trying to fathom the exact point of this article. Tolkin was certainly not the first American coach that has run the Eagles program. Remember Jack Clark? Remember Tom Billups? Ray Cornbill, going way back, was from overseas but was here for reasons having nothing to do with rugby. And EOS, while a true green Irishman was far from a virgin to US Rugby - he was involved with US rugby well before taking on the mantle of national team coach.

So yes - we have had domestic coaches and foreign coaches. We have had good domestic coaches and bad foreign coaches. It runs the gamut.

On the playing front the US certainly is not the most reliant on imports. Look at Japan - quite a cosmopolitan group of players for a country that is traditionally quit insular. Yet who were the darlings of the WC? There is no reason to handicap the team by leaving out well qualified players that can serve the good of the national team. Where would the Eagles have been at this WC without AJ MccGinty? I shudder to think how much worse it could have been. And as you note - our imports by and large come here for reasons removed from rugby. Have a few outsiders been rushed to the top when a local talent would have fit the bill. Perhaps. And it is not a new phenomenon. Remember the fat, out of shape fly half the Eagles had for the inaugural WC. Joe Clarkson. He was clearly a mercenary. I vividly recall the English commentator chuckling about how he used to play with Clarkson "a few pounds ago". But it's not like we brought in the best rugby league player in the world and dropped a talented union guy like another country did recently - with disastrous results.

So I am really wondering what exactly the point of this meandering article is. With my meandering observations.

Pro League will be ten games in the first year. And there will likely be year round responsibilities for coaches and year round salary.

Tolkin is a simpleton and a bully. Just spend some time with him talking about something other than rugby and you'll find yourself a Fox News watching, Trump supporting, bigoted, Tea Party loving simpleton.

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