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Gold resigns as USA coach after World Cup qualifying flop

NEWS: South Africa’s Gary Gold has resigned as United States national rugby team coach after the Eagles failed to qualify for next year’s World Cup in France.


Gold had guided the Americans since the start of 2018 but this year, the Eagles failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1995.

The Eagles, who are set to host the 2031 World Cup, lost a North American qualifying two-match series to Uruguay in October 2021, lost 51-52 in a two-game aggregate series against Chile in July and lost out on the final World Cup spot last month to Portugal, who advanced on a 16-16 draw with the Americans.

“One of the things I believe about leadership is that the position comes with accountability for outcomes,” Gold said.

“And I feel that I need to take responsibility for the fact that we haven’t qualified.”

The near-miss qualifying failures were a setback for a US rugby squad that is trying to grow the sport ahead of its host role.

Gold guided an American side that went 0-4 at the 2019 World Cup in Japan. The Eagles are 3-26 overall in eight World Cup appearances, their most recent win by 13-6 over Russia in 2011.


“I want to thank Gary for his dedication, passion and service to the USA Men’s Eagles,” USA Rugby chief executive officer Ross Young said.

“He has brought home the most successful record of any previous coach and helped carry the team to its highest ever World Rugby ranking of 12 in 2018.”

USA Rugby’s board of directors also announced it will conduct a review of its high performance program. Gold will remain at hand to the end of the year to participate in the review.

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