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Oregon Sports Union flanker Rachel Johnson has been voted the top USA Women's 15s player by FloRugby's readership.
The unflinching, hard-nosed loose forward was a lynchpin for ORSU through the WPL season, and that performance earned her a debut cap for the Eagles this November. Typically, Johnson did not back down from that assignment, either, and was a bright spot in what was ultimately a difficult series of fall internationals with plenty of harsh lessons.
Johnson, who has proved herself to be kind of a wacky funster off the field and a rampaging ball of hate on it, scored ten tries for ORSU this season, good for 2nd in the entire league behind Sarah Levy. She led the FloRugby voting with 36%.
Write-ins garnered 17.8% of the vote, with 15s/sevens crossover Meya Bizer getting the lion's share of the nods.
Another USA debutant (and, like Bizer, a Penn State alum), scrumhalf Carly Waters, earned 2nd with 20%. Waters, who has emerged as a sparkplug for New York and for the USA, also played her way onto the USA team with her performance in the WPL.
Also of note, while Johnson came to rugby late and didn't play for a high-level college team, Waters - Downingtown HS and Penn State - went through the pathway. It just goes to show that you can still become a superstar even if you take a while to find the sport.