Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
USA Rugby announced today that Peter Steinberg will be the new head coach of the USA Women’s National Team (WNT). Steinberg brings to the role a wealth of coaching and administrative experience at the age-grade, collegiate, senior women’s, and National Team levels.
Steinberg’s coaching philosophy is of the whole player and self-sufficiency is a big part of that. Building a positive team culture and environment, skill development, game-planning, and strategy implementation are Steinberg’s strengths.
Getting tremendous athletes hasn’t been a problem for the WNT, who are currently ranked 5th in the world, and Steinberg aims to pair that athleticism with individual flair and game savvy.
“Players need to have fundamental skills and game awareness in order to be successful at the elite level. Without those basics, the player and the team cannot build an approach to play that is effective. I encourage players to take ownership of their development and encourage them to express their skills on the field,” said the new coach.
Steinberg has been involved in high performance rugby in the USA since 1996. He began his American coaching career with the USA Rugby age-grade program founding and coaching the USA Women’s U23s. Since then, he has coached the WNT backs, and worked as the Men’s National Team skills coach.
Steinberg’s depth of coaching experiences gives him a comprehensive perspective on the WNT and how the squad will progress moving forward. Steinberg has been coaching the Penn State University Women’s Rugby team since 1994 and has developed excellent players, many of whom have graduated to the international arena.
“My experience coaching at the elite club and college levels has enabled me to see both the current crop of elite players as well as the next generation that are coming through the ranks.”
“The age-grade programs are critical to be able to put the top young players into challenging environments so their rugby and personal skills can be developed under the pressures of international play,” said Steinberg.
“The goal is to be competitive with the best teams in world, in particular with England and New Zealand,” Steinberg said.
He also mentioned that the USA scored the 3rd most tries in the WRWC and the defense tended to be strong, but the WNT needs to play dynamic rugby on both sides of the ball especially under the kind of pressure that New Zealand and England consistently exert.
Steinberg will take over from Kathy Flores, who retired from coaching the WNT and will continue to be involved in talent identification and player development for the WNT. USA Rugby sincerely thanks Kathy for the dedication and passion she brought to the role.