Rob Cain announces departure as USA Women’s Eagle Head Coach

Neil Kennedy
Neil Kennedy

USA Women’s Eagles Head Coach Rob Cain announced on Tuesday that he will step away from his role with USA Rugby, as the new Rugby World Cup cycle begins. Following the most recent Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, USA Rugby High Performance plan to review open candidates for the Women’s Eagles Head Coaching role with Cain included, however Cain turned down this opportunity and has stepped away.

As part of a greater High Performance review process communicated in December, USA Rugby will continue assessing the needs and priorities of the Women’s Eagles program and soon open applications for both the Men’s and Women’s Head Coaching roles.

Cain said on his departure from USA Rugby, “My journey has been with some of the most courageous, strong, and talented women I have had the opportunity to coach, and I have been fortunate enough to create some brilliant memories with some remarkable people. 2022 highlighted where this group is headed, even through the many hardships we continue to face.

“Thank you to everyone I have met on my extensive travels within the community and the women's game. You are some of the best people I have had the opportunity to cross paths with. I would like to wish the USA players and staff good luck and a successful road ahead. I am excited at the prospect of utilizing my experience gained in this journey at a new destination, wherever that may be.”

Cain first joined USA Rugby in late 2018, as the first full-time Head Coach of the USA Women’s Eagles. Debuting in front of a record crowd for the USA against the World Champion New Zealand Black Ferns in Chicago. The Women's Eagles would go onto play an unprecedented number of tests against the Black Ferns and the all-conquering England Red Roses. Under Cain, the USA produced some great wins over England A, Ireland, Canada, Wales, Australia, Scotland and Japan, while also reaching a Rugby World Cup quarter final during his tenure as Head Coach. Cain was instrumental in the development of the National team coaching and support staff as well as the top playing talent, helping to facilitate playing contracts for 23 USA-qualified Eagles in the Allianz Premier 15s ahead of this past year’s Rugby World Cup.

A regular presence in the club and collegiate game on USA soil due to his extensive travels, Cain was ingrained with the Women’s Premier League and American collegiate game as he strived to remain at the forefront of upcoming talent, player and coach development.

USA Rugby CEO, Ross Young said, “On behalf of USA Rugby, I want to first and foremost thank Rob for the last four years as Head Coach of the Women’s Eagles. He has been an exceptional ambassador for the program and beloved by players and coaches alike since joining full-time in late 2018. As we venture forward into new territory for USA Rugby, Rob’s contribution and focus on development as Head Coach of the National Team will continue into the future and benefit the new regime”