BOULDER, Colo. – Men’s Eagles coach John Mitchell will be flanked by professional internationals Phil Greening, Rob Hoadley, and Marty Veale during the inaugural Americas Rugby Championship competition this February and March.
The new Eagles lead man was appointed to the position at the beginning of the calendar year and will lead the program through the Rugby World Cup 2019 cycle, beginning with five matches against North and South American competition. The U.S. hosts Argentina, Canada, and Chile at home before traveling across the equator for matches against Brazil and Uruguay.
The changed coaching staff, which also includes analyst Paul Goulding, team manager Sean Lindersmith, and strength and conditioning coach David Williams, will allow Mitchell the opportunity to better gauge the needs of the program in its first assembly post-Rugby World Cup 2015. Mitchell will meet up with the assembly during the training week in Houston due to the passing of his mother in New Zealand, while Greening will assume interim head coach duties.
Holder of 24 test caps with England over the course of a nine-year professional career with Gloucester Rugby, Sale Sharks, and Wasps in the English Premiership, Greening’s extensive experience at hooker included a tour with the famed British and Irish Lions to New Zealand in 2001. A triple crown with England and two Premiership Rugby titles with Wasps in the early 2000s preceded a forced retirement due to injury, at which time he crossed over to the coaching side of the game.
Greening has been working alongside Mike Friday and Chris Brown with the Men’s Eagles Sevens program since joining the team ahead of the 2014-15 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. His defensive know-how and coaching expertise saw the Eagles concede two fewer points per match than the Series average, and he will continue to work with the sevens programs in addition to his duties as defense coach under Mitchell, Greening’s one-time coach at Sale.
“Phil has proven to be creative and technically outstanding with our sevens athletes,” USA Rugby Director of Performance Alex Magleby said. “He is a passionate and hard-working coach. He, too, understands the pressures on the modern player, having competed at the highest level of the professional game.”
“Phil brings a wealth of rugby experience, including tutelages under coaches including Sir Clive Woodward, Warren Gatland, Shaun Edwards, of course Mike Friday, and will bring it full circle with Mitchell again.”
A standout on the touch line in recent years at Old Blue of New York, Veale is a long-time professional player, having also played at Wasps in England’s Premiership. The second-rower played for provincial sides Canterbury, North Harbour, and Northland in his native New Zealand before stints in the United States and Japan preceded his move to England.
Veale has taken Old Blue, one of the country’s oldest rugby clubs, to two National Championship matches in the past three years, winning the 2014 USA Rugby Division III National Championship following a runners-up appearance in the 2013 title match. His American Rugby Premiership side is currently level atop the competition’s table with the inaugural season’s champions.
The Eagles’ set-piece coach began working as the forwards coach of Army West Point’s collegiate team in 2015, and has previously been a part of All-American coaching staffs. Veale’s ascent to the national team can be attributed to his meticulous nature on and off of the field, as well as his successes working with an assembly of players from around the country.
“Marty is familiar with many of the athletes in the domestic pool and understands the challenges of the amateur turned professional player in relation to the club game,” Magleby said. “He has worked with our AIG Men’s Collegiate All-American forwards, and has done a quality job as head man and forwards coach of Old Blue.”
Hoadley is currently assisting the Stanford University program following coaching stints at Wasps, where he won two Premiership titles and two cup titles as a player, and Ricoh Black Rams in Japan’s Top League. The England national will serve as backs coach during the ARC.
The U.S.’s player pool for the inaugural Americas Rugby Championship will be announced prior to the assembly in Houston, where the Eagles will open the competition at BBVA Compass Stadium against Argentina Saturday, Feb. 2.
Men’s Eagles | Americas Rugby Championship Coaching Staff
Phil Greening – Assistant Coach / Interim Head Coach
Marty Veale – Assistant Coach
Rob Hoadley – Assistant Coach
David Williams – Strength and Conditioning Coach
Paul Goulding – Video Analyst
Sean Lindersmith – Team Manager
Men’s Eagles | Americas Rugby Championship 2016
v. Argentina – Saturday, Feb. 6 @ 8:10 p.m. ET – BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston)
v. Canada – Saturday, Feb. 13 @ 7:10 p.m. ET – Dell Diamond (Austin, Texas)
v. Chile – Saturday, Feb. 20 @ 6:10 p.m. ET – Lockhart Stadium (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
v. Brazil – Saturday, Feb. 27 @ 3:10 p.m. ET – Arena Barueri (São Paolo, Brazil)
v. Uruguay – Saturday, March 5 @ 4:10 p.m. ET – Charrua Stadium (Montevideo, Uruguay)