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Eagles appoint Tolkin as head coach
ESPNscrum Staff
February 17, 2012
USA's Mike Petri leaves Igor Klyuchnikov for dead to score their opening try, USA Eagles v Russia, Rugby World Cup, Stadium Taranaki, New Plymouth, New Zealand, September 15, 2011
Mike Petri has praised the appointment of Tolkin © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Eddie O'Sullivan | Mike Petri

The USA Eagles have appointed former assistant coach Mike Tolkin as their new head coach.

Tolkin has been in the coaching mix in the USA since 1986 with roles at high school, senior and international level. He has previously taken the reins at Xavier H.S and at the New York Athletic Club. Tolkin held the role of defensive coach during the recent World Cup and steps into the void left by the now departed Eddie O'Sullivan.

Tolkin said: "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."

And US rugby CEO Nigel Melville has praised Tolkin saying: "He has worked internationally and domestically as a head coach and understands well the challenges American players face. I know Mike is looking forward to continuing the work started by Eddie".

Current vice captain Mike Petri has also heralded the appointment and claims the players have bought into his mentality. "I've never met anyone who cares about the sport more than does," Petri said. "He'll never settle for less than excellence, and he brings that to coaching. He has a competitive, winning mentality and guys buy in to that. They want to play for him."

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