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Steinberg takes long term USA role

USA women's rugby coach Peter Steinberg has signed a contract extention with the natonal 15s team, keeping him in the role until 2013.

Steinberg was appointed on a shorter term basis earlier this year as a replacement for Kathy Flores, and prepared the team for the build-up to the Nations Cup, where his side recorded a 1-3 win loss record, but showed improvement throughout the tournament where a number of new players were blooded.

The performance of the team and the feedback from the players has shown that Peter is the right person to lead the programme, said Nigel Melville, CEO and President of Rugby Operations at USA Rugby. The Womens Eagles are a flagship for the development of the game, and Peter will drive them to perform at the highest level.

Steinberg led the Eagles to a 1-3 record at the Nations Cup earlier this year including a 11-15 loss against England, a team that placed second in the 2010 Women's Rugby World Cup.

The performance at the Nations Cup was strong even if the outcomes were not, said Steinberg. It was tough to lose two games on the last play, particularly against England when we believed we had won the game.

Despite the results, the tournament allowed Steinberg to begin the process of building for the 2014 World Cup, capping 11 new players in the tournament. The player identification process for the Eagles is now the priority for 2012.

We are a bit behind some of the other countries in identifying players and building the player pool, said Steinberg. That means that 2012 will be a year of player identification and development. We have started that process at the Womens Division I playoffs and will continue next weekend when we scout the Womens Premier League and the Division II club playoffs.

Steinberg has been impressed with the level of athleticism of players at all levels, but knows that skill level is an area that needs improvement. Players that come into the pool in 2012 will get individual development programs for skills, strength and conditioning, nutrition, and mental skills.

We want to know who is in our expanded pool for 2014 by the end of next year, said Steinberg. We are looking for players who do not just want to be Eagles, but are committed to becoming world-class players. This means finding out who is willing to make the sacrifices every day to be a better player.

The Women's Eagles year will finish 2011 with a December mini-camp in Chicago for local players and start next year with the winter Elite Camp in January.