New York - Mike Tolkin has been named the new coach of the US national rugby squad, replacing former Irish national team coach Eddie O'Sullivan, who resigned last November after two years in the post.
The Americans, who lost three of four matches at last year's Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, turned to Tolkin, who served as defensive coach for the Eagles at the World Cup.
"I hope to build on our performance from the World Cup, qualify for the next one and to mix in our new and upcoming players," Tolkin said.
Tolkin, whose appointment was announced on Thursday by USA Rugby, guided New York's Xavier High School to 17 national semi-finals and three US mational crowns. He also helped establish a US national Under-19 side in 1992.
Tolkin took over US club rugby power New York Athletic Club in 2000 and guided the side to three national crowns and eight playoff appearances.
"I've never met anyone who cares about the sport more than does," said Eagles vice-captain Mike Petri, who played under Tolkin on club and school teams. "He will never settle for less than excellence. He has a competitive, winning mentality and guys buy in to that. They want to play for him."
The Americans' first match with Tolkin in charge will be June 9 against host Canada followed by home matches against Georgia and Italy on June 16 and 23.