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USA Rugby's next full-time head coach is slated to be Gary Gold, who currently coaches the Worcester Warriors of the Aviva Premiership, which happens to be the home club of Eagle hooker Joe Taufete'e. Gold was brought into the Warriors in January to help the club avoid relegation last season, and that he did. Currently, though, Gold, Taufete'e and Worcester are off to an 0-6 start to the season. We talked to Joe about what the Eagles and USA Rugby fans can expect from Gold, in good times and bad.
RT: What was your first reaction when you found out Gary would be taking the Eagles job?
JT: I was pretty shocked to hear the news. I was sitting in the meeting room with all my teammates in Worcester when Gary announced he would be taking on the USA job. I could feel eyes turn my way. I couldn’t believe it and was shocked, but very happy to hear that he’d take on the position.
RT: What can your USA teammates expect from Gary as a coach?
JT: The boys can expect that Gary will instill hard work ethics and require them to give everything they’ve got in all roles they play. He’ll set out a challenge for each player to play at a World Class level, just as he expects us to play here at Worcester.
RT: I assume you and Gary have talked about the announcement. What have those conversations been like?
JT: We mainly talked about how things are in the group of players the past assemblies. I was happy to tell him a how enthusiastic the boys are about representing USA.
RT: Gary came into the Worcester setup midseason, just like he’ll be coming into the USA midway through a World Cup cycle. What was that introductory period like? Did he say or do anything to try and win over the locker room? Does anything stick out in your memory from that time frame?
JT: When he came into the fold at the end of last season, he highlighted that there are simple things we can control and that those are things as a team, we should focus on. He taught that things weren’t gonna change overnight, and we had to be willing to put in the fight. When we did put in the time in those controllable areas, we saw improvement in our season.
RT: It’s been a rough start to the season for you guys. How has that affected Gary’s messaging, or has it?
JT: Gary isn’t a type of person who would say things for the sake of saying things. His messages to the boys haven’t changed much and shouldn’t, because so far the season has been a reflection of the errors we can prevent. If there something that I appreciate from him, it's that he sees things as they are and doesn’t say things just to say them. Every message he presents has meaning.