Scott Lawrence and Richard Ashfield Named Interim Head Coaches of Men’s and Women’s Eagles

USA Rugby Release

USA Rugby named USA Assistant Coaches, Scott Lawrence, and Richard Ashfield as interim Head Coach for the Men’s and Women’s Eagles, respectively. Lawrence has also been appointed interim General Manager of Men’s 15s High Performance, with Dan Payne stepping aside. 

The USA Rugby Board of Directors has initiated a full review of USA Rugby High-Performance programs, and following the review, applications and recruitment for full-time head coaches of both programs will begin. Both Lawrence and Ashfield will be included in the process while remaining in interim roles through the first competitions of 2023. Those competitions are expected to be in March for the Women’s Eagles and late summer for the Men’s Eagles.

USA Women’s Eagles Head Coach Rob Cain’s expiring contract was not immediately renewed at the end of 2022, and Cain has since elected to move on from USA Rugby and will not re-apply for the head coaching position.

“USA Men’s Eagle #364, Scott Lawrence is highly familiar with all levels of the Men’s Eagles program, first coaching the USA Men’s U20s squad to a World Trophy victory in 2012. Shifting to the collegiate game with Life University, Lawrence led the powerhouse program as Head Coach and Director of Rugby for over 15 years, later moving up into the coaching ranks with Major League Rugby. With Rugby ATL, Lawrence served as both Head Coach and General Manager, bringing his experience in leadership and program development to the Men’s senior national team and beyond. With the Men’s Eagles entering an extended Rugby World Cup window, Lawrence will similarly take on interim General Management duties, helping to organize a go-forward structure for senior national team development. Dan Payne, having stepped down from his role as GM of High Performance, will remain involved with the Men’s and Women’s Eagles programs on special projects under Lawrence.:

“Richard Ashfield assumes the interim role after multiple years as Assistant Coach with the Women’s Eagles, first joining the program in 2013. Well established in the Collegiate and Senior Club game, Ashfield helped Stanford and Beantown RFC of the Women’s Premier League to multiple playoff appearances over the last decade. A player development expert, Ashfield takes the reins from former Head Coach Rob Cain with Women’s Eagles camps and test matches expected this March. With strong relationships amongst the player and coaching ranks during his tenure, Ashfield will lean in fast as the 2023 season immediately gets underway. “

“With Rugby World Cup 2025 in the near term, World Rugby will meet with USA Rugby at the beginning half of the year to work on the next phase of “Project Accelerate.” Project Accelerate is a targeted initiative by World Rugby to fast-track the development and performance programs of the women’s game in high-potential unions. With the women’s international competition structure laid out through The Pacific Four Series and WXV, along with an expanded HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series slated to being next year, USA Rugby will work with World Rugby to develop specific growth metrics and support for the Women’s fifteens and sevens programs, from grassroots to senior national team, with the goal of future success at the Olympics and Rugby World Cup.”

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