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RMA: Scott Lawrence and the Freedom of Being Interim

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RMA: Scott Lawrence and the Freedom of Being Interim

USA Interim Head Coach and HP Director has the freedom to do what he thinks is right.

Scott Lawrence was on the RuggaMatrix America podcast with Bruce McLane and talked a lot about the freedom to do his job.

As head of HP and Head Coach of the Eagles, Lawrence has a lot of work ahead of him, and he's only "Interim" for both of these jobs ... for now. While many feel that Lawrence should just be given the ball to run with, the man himself told McLane that being "Interim" is actually freeing.

He knows he might not have the job for long, so he's dedicated himself to thinking long-term. He is laying down the groundwork to ensure that the USA Men's National Team environment is one that provides unity of coaching philosophy and approaches throughout the different levels; it is one where the different levels (U18, U20, U23/All American, USA Hawks, Senior Eagles) all understand what they are doing and all communicate with each other.

He wants to reduce cost obstacles to young players. 

"Rugby is a sport for everyone," Lawrence told McLane. "We've got to find opportunities to open it up and that's some of the things that we're doing through the USA Rugby Academy and what we'll do as Version 2 of the Hawks next year is, we need to provide professional environments, experiences, professional development to go out into the work force and be good young men after they're done playing. But do it at the 18 to 23 age range and really invest there."

To that end, Lawrence has hired a coaching staff, as Eagles coaches do, but these people—Neethling Gericke, Elvis Se'eveli, Matoko Noudehou, and George Janke—will be working through all the age ranges. In his capacity is HP Director, Lawrence is sending the signal that the Eagle coaching group must be concerned about development.

And then it's about finding the money and looking for players everywhere.

"Don't make your parents' checkbook or your SAT score a pre-requisite to being a great rugby player," he added.

This podcast is a quick but fascinating insight into what are Lawrence's priorities. He has big goals—he wants the USA to qualify as Americas 1 for the 2027 Rugby World Cup. But he's going to do it the way many say should have been done a long time ago. He won't chase foreign players who might qualify for the Eagles—he'll welcome those that want to come play in the USA, but he won't chase them. He takes the performance and the coaching at the U18 and U20 level seriously. And he relishes the Interim tag.

"I can act in a way which I think is best for our country without outside influence, and if I lose my job at the end of it I lose my job," he told McLane. "But we are going to pour the foundations for what we need to grow at the international level.

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