Ray Egan

  • Belmont Shore RFC Head Coach
  • Back Line Play, Team Play, Contact Area, Defense, Catch-Pass, Decision Making, Continuity

Prior to his arrival in the U.S., Egan worked as an Elite Player Development Coach with the Irish Rugby Football Union and Munster Rugby for eight years. He coached with various national and provincial senior and age-grade teams in Ireland, including Ireland A at Churchill Cup and under-19, under-20, and under-21 teams at their respective World Cups. Egan’s expertise is in team and backs play, while also developing individual- and position-specific skills such as passing, nine’s passing, kicking, placekicking, fielding, tackling, and continuity.


Justin Goonan

  • Wake Forest University Director of Rugby, Head Coach
  • Strength & Conditioning: this includes, but is not limited to, program design, exercise prescription-technique
  • Biomechanics: speed & agility, body control in contact situations
  • Structure team workout settings: S&C outside of a weight room, incorporating S&C in team warm ups, planning team fitness and recovery based on in-season, out of season, within playoffs, or tournaments.

Goonan became a certified personal trainer from American College of Sports Medicine in 2006 and continued to master the aspects of Strength and Conditioning at Greenwich University in England. Following an extensive playing career that spanned clubs such as Texas A&M University, Old Blue Rugby Football Club, and Northwood Crusaders in South Africa, Goonan coached with Sharks Academy, Boston College, and London Scottish, among other clubs. He was also the strength and conditioning coach for the AIG Men’s Junior All-Americans during their successful 2012 World Rugby U20 Trophy campaign.


Jamie Burke

  • Head coach
  • Front Row Skills, Scrum, Lineout, Contact Area

Burke uses the experiences she’s garnered through playing, coaching, and refereeing to help all levels of players increase their level of play, whether it be improving the basics in younger players or developing high level performance skills for those with elite aspirations. She has represented the Eagles 51 times over the course of a decade and was named All-World Tight Head in 2010. That experience has made Burke an expert in the set piece and she is committed to helping players and teams be more dynamic and powerful in first phase. In addition, she specializes in the contact point and breakdown, focusing on winning the physical battles.


Kittery Wagner

  • Glendale Raptors Forwards Coach
  • Front Row Skills, Hooker Skill, Lineout, Scrum

Wagner has played club rugby in the United States for Morris Women’s Rugby, Beantown RFC, Glendale, and additional select sides since 2000. She has appeared in two Women’s Rugby World Cups with the Eagles during an international career that began in 2007. Wagner served as forwards coach for St. Lawrence University’s women’s team and head coach of the West Select Side sevens team.


Tony Pachecho

  • USA Rugby AIG Men’s Collegiate All-Americans Sevens Head Coach; Central Washington University Men’s Head Coach
  • Sevens Strategies, Sevens Management, College Varsity Program Building

Chris O’Brien

  • USA Rugby Men’s Eagles Kicking & Special Teams Analyst and Assistant Video Analyst
  • Kicking, Attacking Pattern, Catch-Pass, 10 Decision Making, Defensive Pattern

O’Brien holds 20 caps with the Eagles and represented the United States at Rugby World Cup 1991.


Vaha Esikia

  • Las Vegas Blackjacks Head Coach
  • Backs Play (starter moves), Defense, Ball Skills, Contact Skills

A native of Tonga, Esikia has been playing rugby in the United States since the age of 15 for Los Altos High and San Mateo Rugby Club. Following a two-year break from rugby, he moved to Nevada to play with Sin City Irish and Las Vegas Blackjacks. Esikia earned his first of 13 caps for the Eagles against Ireland A in 2006 and represented the U.S. at Rugby World Cup 2007. He created the Las Vegas Rugby Academy in 2009 and worked as a skill coach with the AIG Men’s Junior All-Americans before being promoted from backs coach to head coach of the Blackjacks. In the fall of 2014, Esikia was hired as head coach of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas rugby team.


Melanie Denham

  • Central Washington University Women’s Head Coach
  • Back Row Play, Ball Skill in Contact, Defense

Denham has earned 20 caps for the Women’s Eagles since entering the playing pool in 2007. She was named to the 26-player roster for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2010 and was a member of the training squad for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014. Denham started coaching in 2010 at Harvard University. In 2010 she accepted the head coach position at American International College, a varsity program, and moved on to another varsity program in Central Washington University in 2014.


Peter Begetta

  • Defense – team and individual skills / Attack – team and individual skills to include the contact area

Farrah Douglas

  • Gonzaga College High School JV Head Coach
  • Scrums, Confidence in Contact (Safety), Lineouts

Holder of 25 caps and two World Cup appearances with the Eagles, Douglas helped the U.S. finish sixth at Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 as forwards skills coach. She won the 2010 National Championship with Penn State as forwards coach and has held additional coaching positions with Illinois Women’s under-19s, the Chicago Area Rugby Football Union Women’s under-23s, and Noble Street Charter High.


Jason Raven

  • North County Gurkhas General Manager, Head Coach
  • Sevens Strategies, Strength and Conditioning, Endurance, Agility, Speed and Effectiveness, Defensive, Offensive Attack, Tackling Techniques

Introduced to the game of rugby through Fresno Rugby Club, Raven has represented the United States in more than 200 matches on the sevens circuit and the 2001 and 2005 Rugby World Cup Sevens.


Christy Riggenberg

  • Sevens Decision Making, Kicking

Mike Tolkin

  • USA Rugby Men’s Eagles Head Coach
  • Defensive Structures and Tackle Area, Set Piece Defense, Attacking Shape and Setups, Effective Support and Managing the Contact Area, Special Teams, Planning a Season, Game Management

Tolkin coached Xavier High School for 25 years while also holding multiple positions within USA Rugby national teams, including a three-year stint as defensive coach with the Eagles before taking over as head coach post-Rugby World Cup 2011. Tolkin won three Rugby Super League titles with New York Athletic Club, which he coached from 2000 to 2012.


Phil Bailey

  • New York Athletic Club Head Coach
  • Defense, Angles of Run, Decision Making: Reading and Reacting to Defenders

With more than 200 appearances at the professional club level with rugby league sides Manly-Warringah, Northern Eagles, Cronulla-Sutherland, and Wigan, Bailey brings extensive experience to the Men’s Eagles coaching staff as defense coach.


Gavin Hickie

  • Dartmouth University Rugby Head Coach, USAR MCAA Team assistant coach
  • Forwards play, hooker skills, LO, Scrum, contact area

Stephen Lewis

  • Northeast Rugby Olympic Development Academy Head Coach; Army Women’s Sevens Head Coach; Old Blue of New York Director of Rugby
  • Sevens, Kicking/Kick-Chase/Counterattack, Club/Team Culture, Back Play

Lewis has extensive international experience coaching at all levels, including full international, senior representative, senior club, collegiate representative, collegiate, high school representative, and high school. His extensive coaching and playing experience in senior and representative rugby spans multiple countries around the globe, including Scotland, the U.S., England, Wales, Ulster, Ireland, France, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, Venezuela, Bermuda, Netherlands, Nigeria, Botswana, Morocco, Trinidad & Tobago, and Palestine. References available upon request.


David Hamilton

  • CDP Course Educator / World Rugby Educator
  • Attack – development of framework and pattern / Defense – system and individual skills/technical work / Individual- and Position-specific skills, technical/tactical kicking

Hamilton’s goal is to create a positive team culture and environment where the players take ownership of their own development and that of the team. Having held coaching positions with Charlotte Rugby Club, MARFU Men’s Select Side, and the under-17 and under-19 North Carolina All Stars, the key focus of Hamilton’s coaching is fundamental skills and the continued improvement and development of these skills. He was also selected as one of the coaches as USA Rugby’s Stars and Stripes Camp.