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The John Mitchell era of American rugby is officially over, as he’s left to take over the Blue Bulls of Super Rugby. Mitchell took the helm in January, 2016. In 16 international tests, the Eagles went 8-7-1 under Mitchell, making him the first men’s Eagles coach to end his time with a winning test record. Including two draws with Argentina XV and a loss at the hands of the Maori All Blacks, his record is 8-8-3.
The highlights of his tenure are the 2017 Americas Rugby Championship title and leading the Eagles to Rugby World Cup qualification as Americas 1 for the first time. This spring the team went 4-0-1 in the second ARC, drawing with Argentina XV but winning the competition outright. The World Cup qualification came last week, as a 52-16 beating of Canada in San Diego a week after a draw in Hamilton, Ontario was good enough to see the Eagles through.
Mitchell’s record over rival Canada is 3-0-1, as he finishes as the only American coach in history with a winning record over the Canadians.
The lowlights of Mitchell’s tenure include losses to Uruguay, Brazil, Romania and Georgia, all nations the USA has a winning record over all-time. The Brazil loss is the largest rankings upset in World Rugby history. Another knock on Mitchell’s time is that his teams recorded zero wins over a team ranked higher than the USA.
The Eagles actually took a step back in the world rankings under Mitchell, from 16th to 17th. Mitchell’s predecessor, Mike Tolkin, led the Eagles to five wins over higher-ranked opponents. Before him Eddie O’Sullivan managed two, as did Tom Billups. Under both Tolkin and O’Sullivan the USA climbed in the rankings.
|Result||Pts for||Pts Against||Opponent||Location||Date|
|Tie||35||35||Argentina XV||Houston, TX||2/6/2016|
|Win||64||0||Chile||Ft. Lauderdale, FL||2/20/2016|
|Loss||20||24||Italy||San Jose, CA||6/18/2016|
|Loss||7||54||NZ Maori||Chicago, IL||11/4/2016|
|Win||29||23||Uruguay||San Antonio, Texas||2/4/2017|
|Tie||27||27||Argentina XV||Camodoro Rivadavia||3/4/2017|
|Win||52||16||Canada||San Diego, CA||7/1/2017|