USA Rugby

USA Women's Eagles Name Squad For Upcoming High-Stakes Pacific Four Series

USA Women's Eagles Name Squad For Upcoming High-Stakes Pacific Four Series

A spot in the 2025 Women's Rugby World Cup is on the line for the USA Women's Eagles in the Pacific Four Series, which kicks off in late April.

Apr 16, 2024 by Briar Napier
USA Women's Eagles Name Squad For Upcoming High-Stakes Pacific Four Series

The United States national women’s rugby team will begin its journey to qualification for the 2025 Women’s Rugby World Cup this month and has selected a 31-player traveling squad in preparation for its 2024 Pacific Four Series opener.

The Women’s Eagles, under the tutelage of recently appointed head coach Sione Fukofuka, will play in their first home match since 2021 as part of the annual Pacific Four Series against continental rival Canada at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, at 1:30 p.m. (Pacific) on April 28. 

This year’s Pacific Four Series — which features the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia — will additionally act as a qualifier for both this year’s WXV 1 competition in Canada and next year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup in England. 

The Women’s Eagles finished fourth in last year’s Pacific Four Series.

The top three teams from the Pacific Four Series will join the top three teams from the Women’s Six Nations in WXV 1, which starts in September. 

In addition, the United States must finish higher than Australia in the Pacific Four Series table to qualify for the Women’s Rugby World Cup, or else be made to play in WXV 2 in South Africa and qualify for the Women’s Rugby World Cup that way. 

Canada and New Zealand already have qualified for the Women’s Rugby World Cup by virtue of making the semifinals of the 2021 competition. 

In terms of the Women’s Eagles’ squad to face Canada, the biggest omission is two-time Rugby World Cup veteran and captain Kate Zackary, who is recovering from an injury suffered in the Americans’ 38-17 victory over South Africa in Fukofuka’s first match as Women’s Eagles head coach last month in England. 

Back-rower Rachel Johnson (Zackary’s former club teammate at Exeter Chiefs Women in England) will assume the captaincy in Zackary’s absence. A USA Rugby news release noted she hopes to return for the Australia and New Zealand games of the Pacific Four Series next month. 

Fellow Exeter Chiefs Women’s player Hope Rogers has the most caps of any player on the Women’s Eagles squad with 44.

Samantha Brackett, who plays with the San Clemente Rhinos at club level, could be in line for her first career senior international cap as the only uncapped player in the squad. 

Cassidy Bargell and Amanda Berta, who became the newest-capped Women’s Eagles in the Americans’ win over the Springbok women, also each made the cut for squad selection and will be part of the United States' team against Canada. 

After playing Canada, the Women’s Eagles will hit the road to Oceania for their final two matches of the Pacific Four Series, facing New Zealand in Hamilton on May 11 and Australia in Melbourne on May 17.

“This squad is again a balanced group of players that allow us to play the style we are building toward,” Fukofuka is quoted as saying in the release. “Although we will miss Kate Zackary for the first Pacific Four Series test, we are confident in our leadership group to fill that void and drive the team. 

"With the addition of our USA Sevens players, we have added speed and skill to our back three with Atumata Hingano and Autumn Czaplicki, and I’m excited to see them integrate into the team and compete for a position. 

"Ultimately, we are confident in the players re-selected from the UK squad and are looking forward to building off the platform we set in the South Africa test and taking the Canadian challenge head on.”

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