USA Squad Named For Women's Rugby World Cup
USA women's national team head coach Pete Steinberg has named the 28 players to represent the United States at the Women's Rugby World Cup in Ireland next month.
Included among the squad for the eighth World Cup are two Team USA Olympians, two international debutants, seven Women's Premier League champions, and seven World Cup veterans. The Eagles, currently ranked seventh, will play pool matches against reigning Champion England, Italy, and Spain in Pool B at University College Dublin on August 9-17 prior to knockout matches on August 22 and 26 in Belfast.
The team will attend a send-off dinner hosted by USA Rugby Trust and Scion Restaurant in Silver Spring, MD, prior to the jaunt across the Atlantic Ocean at the end of July. The team has received a significant boost from Irish Rugby Tours to help it prepare. Thanks to the sponsorship of Irish Rugby Tours, the Eagles will be able to assemble early at Trinity College, Dublin ahead of the transfer to UCD. American supporters still seeking travel arrangements to follow the Eagles can book official packages via Irish Rugby Tours.
"We are very excited about the send off in D.C.," Steinberg said. "We are meeting the USA Rugby Congress, we have a reception at the Irish Embassy, and we have a couple of practices planned. The support from Scion and USA Rugby Trust has been great. I have to recognize George Hook and Irish Rugby Tours who have been instrumental in helping our World Cup preparation."
Though there were only three years between the seventh and eighth World Cups, the Women's Pathway has afforded players plenty of opportunities to grow into World Cup-eligible selections. Following the reinvigoration of the National All-Star Competition and more competitive play for the AIG Women's Collegiate and Junior All-American and Girls High School All-American teams, the Eagles have debuted 34 internationals since the start of 2015. Eighteen of those players are included in the 28-woman roster for Ireland.
USA Women's Rugby World Cup Schedule
USA vs. Italy, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 11:30 AM ET
USA vs. Spain - Sunday, Aug. 13, 9:45 AM ET
USA vs. England - Thursday, Aug. 17, 9:30 AM ET
Semifinals - Tuesday, Aug. 22
Finals - Saturday, Aug. 26
"With an experienced squad in 2014, we knew we had to get younger for this World Cup," Steinberg said. "The shortened cycle has made getting so many players the experience they need challenging. This is a group that will need to grow through the tournament to be able to play at our top potential. It is exciting, though, to see so many players going to Ireland that will be eligible in 2021."
Steinberg's staff is bolstered by the additions of former World Cup Eagles player Liz Kirk as a forwards specialist, experienced strength and conditioning professional Ian Gibbons, Richard Ashfield as a skills coach, and a highly capable team of physicians and physiotherapists tasked with keeping the Eagles at their healthy best through a grueling three-week tournament. The staff will work in tandem with ranging availability during the World Cup, as not all members of the coaching team will be in the assembly simultaneously.
"I cannot say enough about the commitment of our staff and the work they put in," Steinberg said. "Our goal is always to provide the same support for the women that the men get at their World Cup and I think we have been able to do that."
More information regarding the U.S. broadcast of Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 will be announced in the coming weeks. Want to donate to help the Eagle women? Click here.
USA Women's Eagles | Women's Rugby World Cup 2017Name, Club or School
Kathryn Augustyn Berkeley All Blues
Catherine Benson Life West
Sylvia Braaten Twin Cities Amazons
Stacey Bridges Twin Cities Amazons
Kayla Canett Pennsylvania State University
Cheta Emba Women's Eagles Sevens
Tiffany Faaee New York Rugby Club
Jordan Gray Life West
Abby Gustaitis Northern Virginia Rugby
Nicole Heavirland Women's Eagles Sevens
Nicole James Houston Athletic Rugby Club
Jessica Javelet Women's Eagles Sevens
Alev Kelter Women's Eagles Sevens
Deven Owsiany San Diego Surfers
Samantha Pankey San Diego Surfers
Sara Parsons Northern Virginia Rugby
Annakaren Pedraza Lindenwood University
Christiane Pheil Chicago North Shore
Naima Reddick Seattle Saracens
Jamila Reinhardt San Diego Surfers
Hope Rogers San Diego Surfers
Kimber Rozier Scion Sirens
Kristine Sommer Seattle Saracens
Naya Tapper Women's Eagles Sevens
Kristen Thomas Women's Eagles Sevens
Alycia Washington New York Rugby Club
Jess Wooden Aylesford Rugby Club
Kate Zackary San Diego Surfers
USA Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 Coaching StaffPete Steinberg - Head Coach
Peter Baggetta - Associate Head Coach
Richie Walker - Assistant Coach
Liz Kirk - Assistant Coach
Richard Ashfield - Assistant Coach
Ian Gibbons - Head of Physical Performance
Katie Gloyer - Physician
Michelle Look - Physician
Amy Valenta - Physiotherapist
Sarah Leslie - Physiotherapist
Bri Arsenault - Physiotherapist
Caitlin Singletary - Video Analyst
Julie Sutcliffe - Sports Psychologist
Amie Kern - Assistant Manager & Massage Therapist
Roshna Wunderlich - Manager