Ex-All Blacks coach John Mitchell hired to lead US team

By The Associated Press ,

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Former New Zealand coach John Mitchell has been hired by the United States to lead the national team into the 2020 World Cup.

USA Rugby announced Monday that Mitchell had signed a four-year contract with the Eagles.

He replaces Mike Tolkin, who left the head coach's position after the U.S. lost all four pool stage games at the World Cup in England last year.

"I see this as a wonderful opportunity to play a key part in inspiring, mentoring, creating confidence and stability in transforming USA Rugby into a strong, globally-competitive unit by the end of 2019," Mitchell said.

Mitchell, a no-nonsense disciplinarian, was All Blacks coach from 2001-03 and England assistant coach between 1997-2000.

He has previously worked with USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville at English club Wasps.

Mitchell's first match with the U.S. is on Feb. 6 against Argentina in the inaugural Americas Rugby Championship.

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