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USA returns to homegrown coach for Eagles

By: The Associated Press

Posted: 16/02/2012

BOULDER, Colorado –

USA Rugby returned to a homegrown product to lead the Eagles by announcing Mike Tolkin as the new coach on Thursday.

Tolkin, from New York, was a defence coach under Eddie O’Sullivan at last year’s World Cup in New Zealand.

Since former U.S. captain Tom Billups resigned after five years as coach in 2006, disenchanted with broken promises by administrators, the Eagles have been coached with less success by Peter Thorburn of New Zealand, Scott Johnson of Australia and O’Sullivan, an Irishman.

Tolkin, who served as a talent scout under Billups in 2001, says “building confidence in the guys is what I want to instil first and foremost.”

His first test is on June 9 against Canada in Kingston, Ontario, followed by home matches against Georgia and Italy on June 16 and 23 at venues to be announced next week.

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