Eagles 7's Head Coach
Alex Magleby deserves to stay on as Eagles 7’s head coach. Period. No question about it. Magleby may not have transformed the Eagles from a team starved for success into an instant winner, but he has changed the attitude around the team and given time, that is what will lead to wins. Whether he will be given that time is the big question, but there is little doubt that he should be given the job.
Magleby is a proven winner with a stellar rugby resume. He grew up in the Highland program before playing at Dartmouth; has been capped by both the Eagles 15’s and 7’s; has coached a very successful Dartmouth team, and has run two successful All-American camps in 15’s and 7’s. Even further, he took over the U.S. team and in a short amount of time made it competitive once again.
After taking over the 7’s team following Al Caravelli’s resignation, Magleby instantly went about changing the culture of team, beginning with how they played. Rather than relying on speedy players that may not have had a significant rugby background, Magleby chose bigger bodies that were good in contact and smart at making offloads. This led to decreased turnovers and increased possession for the Eagles. These simple steps led to better results. They may not have been earth-shattering changes, but they were enough to raise the confidence of the team. That confidence is what is going to win games in the future. Al Caravelli was doing wonderful things for the U.S. program, but he didn’t have the confidence of the players for one reason or another. The simple changes that Magleby instituted to the program gave the players a better sense that they could compete and it showed. The Eagles point totals increased and they made it to the finals (bowl or shield) of every tournament since Magleby took over.
Of all the rumored candidates for the job, none of them can match the combination of experience, knowledge, and confidence that Magleby brings to the job. Look at what he did in such a short amount of time and then think about what he can do with the backing of U.S.A. Rugby. In all the interviews he has given since becoming interim coach, Magleby has stressed developing a selection process for players. No more invitations to camp on a whim, no more legacy players. Each player will now have to earn their spot on the team with a good performance playing domestic 7’s in the summer. The team needs consistent players and the only way to prove that a player is consistent is to show in the summer time. It’s a complete change of culture for the team. Caravelli was trying to institute this culture but never really had the backing.
The sooner U.S.A. Rugby announces a decision regarding Magleby’s future, the better. Fans, players, and Magleby shouldn’t be left wondering the future of their program. The domestic summer 7‘s season is quickly approaching and the U.S. needs a permanent head coach. The choice is simple. Magleby is the guy for the job.
The Eagles will assemble this week in preparation for their summer test series against Canada, Georgia, and Italy. It will be the first summer in awhile where there won’t be a trophy on the line. For the Eagles right now, that might be the best possible scenario. Rather than focusing on putting out the best team against France ‘A’ or whoever else they would have played in the Churchill Cup, they can take this summer to figure out which combinations work best for them. This is the start of a World Cup cycle and the quicker younger players can be adapted into the squad and the quicker veterans can settle into positions better.
Mike Tolkin has chosen 36 players for the camp and will whittle them down to 28. Most of the veterans from the World Cup return, but new faces like Toby L’Estrange, James Hilterbrand, and Luke Hume come into the squad to add a bit of depth. Tolkin has also chosen some young college faces like Will Holder and Shaun Davies in the hopes that they will get great exposure for the future. Regardless of who is chosen for the team, it should be a great camp.
Today, even maybe as you are reading this, the RFU Championship title will be decided as London Welsh and the Cornish Pirates battle it out. For Americans, today means that one of their compatriots will be a champion. It’s a good thing anytime an American is able to win some hardware in Europe. The RFU Championship in particular is a great place for Americans to play. Hopefully, more Americans will get a chance in the league and some will even move up to the Premiership.
A couple of week’s back RugbyRugby, World Rugby Shop, and my site, This Is American Rugby, hosted a DI-A playoff prediction contest. Quite a few people entered for a chance to win a $50 dollar gift card to World Rugby Shop but only one could come out that winner. That lucky person is Ben Corbett, who along with others had the highest percentage of accurate predictions. Due to the tie, a random drawing was held in which Ben was the winner. Congrats to Ben.
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.