Following an extensive search process, Saracens Women’s Head Coach and Director of Rugby Rob Cain has accepted an offer for Head Coach of the United States Women’s National Team (XV), USA Rugby announced today. Cain, who possesses a wealth of experience in developing athletes, will serve as the first full-time head coach in the history of the women’s program.
With his intended start early this Summer pending visa approval, and the role based at the Olympic Training Site in Chula Vista, CA, Cain looks forward to embedding himself in the American landscape and making an immediate impact in the new era of the women’s program.
“I am both humbled and excited for such an incredible opportunity to join the USA Rugby family and become the first full-time Women’s National Team Head Coach,” said Cain. “I want to thank both Saracens and USA Rugby for their patience throughout this extensive process, I am looking forward to our journey to the 2021 World Cup.”
In four seasons with Saracens Women’s Rugby, Cain set remarkable benchmarks. He led the squad to their first English Premiership and National Cup titles in more than seven years during his first season, made Premiership Playoff and National Cup Final appearances in 2017 with a brand new starting XV of young athletes aged 18-23, and secured a 2016-17 Singha 7s Premiership Title.
In April of this year Cain capped his successful run by leading the Saracens Women to the inaugural Tyrrell Premier 15s Championship with a 23 woman roster featuring eight teenagers.
Cain also served as Head Coach for the London & South East U18s where he won the UK School Games Title. Prior to that, he led the Templars 7s RFC to a 2012 Super 7s Series victory, earning Coach of the Series honors and proving his unique abilities in developing athletes and establishing new culture across all levels of the sport.
“It is imperative that we bring in a proven, world-class coach to advance the level of play for our Women’s National Team, we have that in Rob,” says Ross Young, USA Rugby’s Interim CEO. “Rob has a track record of building programs through skills training and mentorship of both coaches and athletes. His selection builds succession into our long term strategy.”
Cain’s proven abilities to empower young athletes and support them to overachieve allows him to relate to a new generation of players, coaches and staff, ensuring a vibrant and consistent future for women’s rugby.
General Manager for Women’s High Performance Emilie Bydwell added, “This process has been extensive, and we are incredibly grateful for the support and patience of the women’s rugby community. Rob joins us with a shared vision of the critical importance of developing our homegrown coaches. As part of his duties with the Women’s National Team, he will help us leverage senior support staff and age-grade positions to accelerate the development of American coaches.”
With a search committee that included Bydwell, General Manager for National Teams & Performance Alex Magleby, Life University Women’s Head Coach Rosalind Chou and former Women’s Eagles’ Captain Tiffany Faaee, Cain quickly rose to the top of the candidate pool.
“Rob’s player centered approach is what stood out to me,” said former Captain Faaee. “He brings fresh eyes, a fresh perspective and a level of professionalism and high standards we need to thrive as a program both on and off the pitch.”
The USA Women’s National Team last took the pitch at the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland, where they placed fourth after making it to the Bronze Medal match against France. Cain and all of women’s high performance will immediately continue finalizing details of a November Tour so the Women’s Eagles may further their journey to the 2021 World Cup.
Pending Visa approval, Cain will begin his role this Summer as a consistent presence for athletes and staff training across all sectors of women’s high performance.