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LAFAYETTE, Colo. - Life University Director of High Performance Systems Scott Lawrence will join John Mitchell's Men's Eagles coaching staff this summer as the U.S. National Team seeks qualification for Rugby World Cup 2019.
The former AIG Men's Junior All-Americans coach recently led Life's men's collegiate side to a fifth consecutive D1A Rugby National Championship appearance - the second during his tenure - and has been instrumental in the growth of the Marietta, Ga., school's rugby programs. In 2013 and 2014 the men's club side won back-to-back Division I National Championships.
"We are excited to have a coach of Scott's caliber join the coaching staff," Eagles General Manager Dave Hodges said. "Scott brings a strong American pedigree to the Men's National Team as he has had success at both the college level and with our own U20s. We are fortunate to be able to call upon Scott's services as we head into the challenge of June test matches and Rugby World Cup 2019 Qualifiers."
Under Lawrence's tutelage, the under-20 national team won the 2012 World Rugby U20 Trophy and competed at the U20 Championships a year later. In addition to his role developing age-grade national team players and student-athletes on the field and off, Lawrence has built a repertoire of coaching habits he has been able to pass on to the American rugby community.
Earlier this year, Lawrence spent a week in London shadowing Harlequins Football Club's Aviva Premiership and Academy (under-18) sides in their match-week preparations, from watching training and analyzing film to meeting with the coaching staffs and sitting in on their discussions with professional match officials.
"Serving in a coaching role with the Men's National Team and to study under Coach Mitchell is an enormous opportunity," Lawrence said. "The team has been improving play and building well over the last six to nine months. Continuing that trajectory will be vital."
The Eagles will assemble in New Jersey May 31 ahead of their first match of the Emirates Airline Summer Series against Ireland Saturday, June 10, at Red Bull Arena. The Summer Series continues on to Georgia's Fifth Third Bank Stadium at Kennesaw State University, where the U.S. will face the Georgian Lelos June 17 prior to the two-match Rugby World Cup 2019 Qualifier series against Canada June 24 and July 1. The 30 players named to the squad will also work with Old Blue of New York's Marty Veale, forwards coach, and Strength and Conditioning Coach Jon Hood.