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Greener pastures for John Mitchell as he heads off to the US to coach the Eagles

Mitch: The Real StoryThe United States men’s national rugby union team has named its new coach: John Mitchell.

Mitchell’s previous positions include coaching the All Blacks, the English side Sale Sharks and Super Rugby teams Chiefs, Lions and Western Force.

His name was in the hat for the Stormers coaching position, and even mentioned a few times in conversations about possible replacements for Heyneke Meyer. However, Sport24 reports that politics in South African rugby made it an easy decision for Mitchell to head to the US to coach the Eagles.

“This opportunity [USA job] in many ways is probably the better of the opportunities, because the longer I was in the process of the Stormers it became very evident to me that the process saved me,” Mitchell said in an interview.

Find out more about this remarkable, albeit controvertial, rugby coach by reading his biography, Mitch: The Real Story.

USA Rugby made the announcement on their website, followed by a short Q&A with the man himself. His appointment is effective immediately with a four-year contract aimed at preparing the US team for the next Rugby World Cup.

When asked what his goal for the Eagles will be, Mitchell says:

The speed of development towards getting USA to win the Webb Ellis will be dependent on the amount of money put behind marketing the game to the USA and player recruitment and development. Everyone involved will need to understand that winning is directly proportional to the talent pool and investment in that pool.

My thinking immediately for the next four years is more about building a platform for USA Rugby to launch from in the following areas:

1. To cultivate a team culture and climate that is improving individual performance and connectedness
2. To be recognized as authentic competition to Tier-One playing nations by the end of 2019
3. To establish a winning playing style and approach to the game that will attract in audiences and new talent locally and globally
4. To mentor coaches and management to generate long-term sustainability and competitiveness throughout the USA
5. To support the establishment of the PRO League and Americas Rugby Championship

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