Eagle Women Ponder Big Stage, New Players, and ... Bacon?

Emily Henrich Makes Debut For USA

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USA WNT 15s head coach Rob Cain has put himself out there with his selections, as he starts six uncapped players against the #1 team in the world on Saturday at Soldier Field.

USA vs New Zealand Women's Test Match LIVE on FloRugby Nov 3

Not only does Cain have six debutants starting, he also has seven uncapped players on the bench. This is most certainly a new era.

"While they may be young, they’ve hit the ground running," said captain Kate Zackary. "Most of them have been competing in an age-grade program.”

With that, and top colleges providing improved training environments, it's “less of a big jump,” said the captain. The young players, she added, “bring their own bit of flair.”

"The players have sorted out selection," added Cain. "They’re the ones that are in form. They’re the ones that have put their hand up. We’re going to reward players that are playing really good rugby, sensible rugby, aggressive rugby."

Chicago The Big Stage

Soldier Field is a huge stadium, and the kind of stadium few women rugby players get to experience. 

“It's an amazing opportunity," said Zackary. "It’s a huge moment for us as well as them to play each other in such a big stadium. The environment is amazing, everyone’s been super supportive."

Playing on home soil is also a relatively rare thing for the Eagle women, and friends and family will be part of that, participating in the jersey ceremony on Friday evening.

"That," said Zackary, "will be a really special occasion for us."


Debutant Cantorna At Home In Chicago

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The Future Starts Now

This is the first USA game since the 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup, but Cain says there will be many more games going forward. He has brought in younger players because he expects there to be more playing opportunities - opportunities to grow.

"It's the start of our journey," said Cain. "There’s going to be a lot of emotions and there will quite rightly be when you’re playing for your country. But you learn to embrace it and control. The experienced players have been phenomenal this week.

And ... Bacon Sandwiches

Having A LIttle Bit Of Fun With Rob Cain

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Cain told FloRugby that one of his fondest memories of playing rugby at a young age was the bacon sandwiches his mom would make. Asked if he planned the same pregame meal for his team, he demured.

Watch USA vs New Zealand LIVE Noon CT Nov 3

"For health and safety reasons they won’t let me in the kitchen," he joked. "Mentally, however, I will be visualizing bacon sandwiches as part of my process."


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Round 4: Super Rugby Aotearoa/AU Team of the Week

Codie Taylor, Crusaders

With the Australian Super Rugby teams entering the fold this week, the Super Rugby Team of the Week selection just got a whole lot tougher. There were plenty of great performances over the weekend, and a few names on the sheet that continue to show up week in and week out. 

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MLR Nationality Breakdown By Position: New England Freejacks

New England Free Jacks

The other day I was thinking about fly-halves in the MLR -- since that is my position -- and I got to thinking how few American players there are playing fly-half in Major League Rugby. The only ones I could think of off the top of my head were Ben Cima (SEA), Scott Dean (SEA), Tadgh Leader (NE) and Zinzan Elan-Puttick (AUS) -- and it's worth noting that both Leader and Elan-Puttick grew up playing rugby in Ireland and South Africa respectively. 

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10 Monday Notes: Hot Seats In NZ, Super Rugby Kicks Off In AUS

Reds, Harry Wilson

The gifts keep on coming, as Super Rugby AU's new season just got underway this past weekend with two scintillating matchups, while Super Rugby Aotearoa once again dazzled fans. 

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MLR Nationality Breakdown By Position: Houston Sabercats

Houston Sabercats

The other day I was thinking about fly-halves in the MLR -- since that is my position -- and I got to thinking how few American players there are playing fly-half in Major League Rugby. The only ones I could think of off the top of my head were Ben Cima (SEA), Scott Dean (SEA), Tadgh Leader (NE) and Zinzan Elan-Puttick (AUS) -- and it's worth noting that both Leader and Elan-Puttick grew up playing rugby in Ireland and South Africa respectively. 

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More Rugby! Super Rugby Australia Kicks Off With Reds vs Waratahs

Waratahs

Much to the delight of many rugby fans all around the world, Super Rugby began a New Zealand-only competition three weeks ago, giving spectators something great to feast their eyes on after a long rugby layoff since the start of the pandemic. Well, starting this weekend the rugby universe will be treated to another great competition, as Super Rugby now begins its Australian-only league. 

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TWO UNBEATENS REMAIN: Super Rugby Aotearoa Round 4 Preview

Richie Mo'unga, Crusaders

Through three rounds of Super Rugby Aotearoa, it's the Blues and the Crusaders who still remain unbeaten, while the Chiefs and the Hurricanes are still in search of a first victory on the season. The Highlanders, meanwhile, sit at 1-1 after two heart-stopping fixtures against the Chiefs and the Blues. 

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Date Set For New Zealand's North vs South Island Battle

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For the first time since the mid 1980's, New Zealand is set to reintroduce the famous North vs South Island match on August 29th, pitting players from each of the two parts of New Zealand against one another to settle where the best rugby players in the country truly come from. 

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MLR Nationality Breakdown By Position: Colorado Raptors

Colorado Raptors

The other day I was thinking about fly-halves in the MLR -- since that is my position -- and I got to thinking how few American players there are playing fly-half in Major League Rugby. The only ones I could think of off the top of my head were Ben Cima (SEA), Scott Dean (SEA), Tadgh Leader (NE) and Zinzan Elan-Puttick (AUS) -- and it's worth noting that both Leader and Elan-Puttick grew up playing rugby in Ireland and South Africa respectively. 

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Could New Zealand Be Hosting The Entire 2020 Rugby Championship?

New Zealand v South Africa - Rugby World Cup 2019_ Pool B Warren Little Getty Images For World Rugby.jpeg

With much of the world shut down still thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, rumors are swirling that New Zealand could be home to the entire 2020 Rugby Championship. The past three weeks have seen the beginning of the Super Rugby Aotearoa, a competition involving just the four New Zealand Super Rugby franchises. 

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