After failing to qualify for RWC 2023, the Eagles are making changes

Gary Gold leaves USA Rugby as future World Cup plans formulate

After the men’s Eagles failed to qualify for Rugby World Cup 2023 in France, losing in the two-legged final qualifier to Chile with an aggregate score of 52-51 in los Condores‘ favour, it is all change at the union. Men’s head coach Gary Gold has left his position, with a review of how the US will operate going forward now starting. In May of this year the future World Cup hosts were announced and USA were awarded the men’s and women’s World Cups in 2031 and 2033 respectively.

Related: Chile qualify for Rugby World Cup for first time ever

Women’s boss Rob Cain has also come to the end of his contract with the union, and whether he is offered another one will come down to the review.

As part of the review the union say they intend to refine job descriptions and hiring timelines for their head of high performance role and those of head coaches. They have also added that “One essential requirement for USA coaches in the future is they must be full-time residents of the US during their coaching tenure and engrained in the Eagles development pathway.”

As well as this their youth pipeline will become the priority, the union state. “This includes augmented and robust development structures with appropriate funding levels to achieve the needed performance objectives for both the Men’s and Women’s programmes” they add. In order for this to succeed, they must uncover new revenue streams.

And so in January, World Rugby will meet with USA Rugby to work on the next phase of what has been dubbed “Project Accelerate.”

This is described as an initiative by World Rugby to “fast-track the development and performance programmes of the women’s game in high potential unions”. With the US women having a path set in the  The Pacific Four Series and upcoming WXV competition, as well as the Sevens World Series the partnership’s aim, the union says, is to “develop specific growth metrics and support for the Women’s 15s and sevens programs, from grassroots to senior national team, with the goal of future success at the Olympics and the World Cups.”

USA’s CEO Ross Young said: “We’re committed to charting a path which will bring American rugby to the forefront of international competition over the course of the next decade, a path we understand goes far beyond national team operations. The global rugby landscape is changing rapidly and will improve further with new competitions and a regular structured calendar. From the results this fall, it is clear we have not kept pace with the rest of the world. Now, we must find ways in which the United States can innovate and capitalise on its natural strengths in order to excel both on and off the field. This will all tie in with the wider growth plan that USA Rugby will present to World Rugby in May as part of the Rugby World Cup hosting process.”

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