Cape Town - John Mitchell is looking forward to his new
challenge as head coach of USA’s national rugby team.
READ: Why Stormers snubbed Mitchell
USA Rugby on Monday confirmed the appointment of Mitchell on
a four-year deal.
Mitchell, a former All Blacks, Western Force and Golden
Lions coach, was recently linked with the Stormers head coaching role but the
Cape franchise eventually opted against hiring the New Zealander.
The Stormers had initially appointed Eddie Jones as their
head coach, but were then forced to look for a new mentor when Jones left them
for the England head coaching job.
The Capetonians eventually appointed former backline coach
Robbie Fleck as interim coach.
But the Stormers’ loss is America’s gain and Mitchell is
keen to get the ball rolling over there.
“I am excited about putting my strengths into play and
taking on this role to transform USA Rugby into a stronger unit by the end of
2019,” Mitchell told USA Rugby’s official website.
“For me personally, this is a very powerful nation that has
an immense audience for this amazing sport.
“Having worked previously with (USA Rugby CEO) Nigel
Melville, and knowing his level of experience and knowledge in all aspects of
the game, I am confident in my decision to take on this role. I know I will
have the necessary support and stability a head coach requires.”
Melville commented: “Following our review of the Eagles
performances at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, we decided to make changes to the
programme and are delighted that John has agreed to lead the development of the
Eagles in our next World Cup cycle.
“Having worked with John at Wasps in 1999 and 2000, I have
an intimate understanding of John’s strengths and the value that he can bring
to the Eagles programme. John is an outstanding coach with experience at all
levels of the game who will develop a strong team culture, focus on the basics
of the game and bring fresh ideas where they are most needed. John will also
work closely with our domestic elite coaches and age grade teams.”
Mitchell’s first match as Eagles head coach will come
against fifth ranked Argentina in the inaugural Americas Rugby Championship on
February 6 in Houston, Texas.