Eagle Women Selected To Face Barbarians

Johnson Carries ORSU and Is Set For Eagles

USA Women’s Eagles Head Coach Rob Cain has named his match-day roster to face the famous Barbarians tomorrow, Friday, April 26 at Infinity Park in Glendale CO.

The Eagles face the Barbarians at 5PM Mountain Time, 7PM Eastern Time LIVE on FloRugby.

Friday’s clash will mark the first time a Barbarians side has ever faced a U.S. National Team.

Tickets are available at glendaleraptors.com/tickets with the Glendale Raptors and Rugby United New York of Major League Rugby kicking off after at 7:30 PM. One ticket is valid for both games.

Following a competitive high-performance training camp which saw a substantial number of pool players vie for selection, the Women’s Eagles lineup features a mix of new faces along with several who return following the previous Women’s Rugby World Cup cycle.

Three of those new faces are starters Nicole Strasko, Nate Serevi, and Amy Naber. Strasko will start at lock after playing her last test match during the 2017 Can-Am Series. Serevi is in at No. 8 after last suiting up against England in July of 2016 and Naber, starting at center, will play for the first time since her test debut against New Zealand in Summer of 2015.

The starting XV also features a new face in Twin City Amazon’s Katana Howard and two sevens athletes in Neariah Persinger and resident-athlete Eti Haungatau. Persinger will play her first match with the senior team in fifteens after last competing with the Eagles Sevens in Kitakyushu 2018. Haungatau will play her first match overall at the senior level, having focused heavily on development in the Women’s Sevens Residency Program.


Reserves also include sevens players in resident-athletes Hope Rogers and Ashlee Byrge, as well as Bui Baravilala and Bulou Mataitoga. Both Rogers and Baravilala have competed with the senior team in sevens and fifteens while Byrge and Mataitoga have made their national team appearances in sevens.

Byrge most recently debuted at Dubai Sevens 2018 while Rogers and Mataitoga last competed at the senior level during Kitakayushu Sevens in 2018 and 2017, respectively. Baravilala returns for the first time since the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

Alongside the group of long-standing returners is Chicago North Shore’s Charli Jacoby who could play for the first time with the senior team as a reserve.

The full match-day roster owns 182 cumulative caps. 

Head Coach Rob Cain said: “As a coaching group we are not just excited for the 23 that will be running out against the Barbarians but also incredibly excited for the inner competition that this week has shown throughout the player pool in camp. It’s always great to see both the excitement and realization from an individual player that they deserve to be in the national team environment.

Cantorna Ready To Take On Barbarians

“The Barbarians are steeped in history, no more so than with this matchday squad, from World Cup winners, to multiple World Cup captains, to players involved at the Olympics in both their playing and coaching staff we know the type of challenge that lays await for us. This is such an exciting platform for all of us as we continue forwards with our adventures in 2019.”

While caps will not be awarded for the Eagles matchup with the Baa-Baas, the squad will have an opportunity to play the top women’s rugby players from several countries around the world in the famous Barbarians side. Two of which are Women’s Eagle Alumni in 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup athlete Hannah Stolba and 2016 Olympian Carmen Farmer.

Tickets for Friday’s game start at $25 for adults with VIP packages also available at glendaleraptors.com/tickets. To watch the action LIVE, visit FloRugby.com


U.S. Women’s National Team Starters

PLAYER NAME

POS

CLUB

CAPS IN 15s

Catherine Benson

Prop

Life West Gladiators

17

Joanna Kitlinski

Hooker

Glendale Merlins

8

Nicole James

Prop

Houston Athletic

6

Stacey Bridges

Lock

Beantown Rugby 

36

Nicole Strasko

Lock

Life West Gladiators 

3

Katherine Zackary (C)

Flanker

San Diego Surfers

9

Rachel Johnson

Flanker

Oregon Sports Union

3

Nate Serevi

No. 8

Scion Rugby

2

Carly Waters

Scrumhalf

New York Rugby

2

Katana Howard

Flyhalf

Twin City Amazon

0

Neariah Persinger

Wing

Unattached

0

Amy Naber

Center

LIfe West Gladiators

1

Eti Haungatau

Center

Women’s Sevens Residency Program

0

Jennine Duncan

Wing

Seattle Saracens

2

Gabriella Cantorna

Fullback

Glendale Merlins

3


U.S. Women’s National Team Reserves

PLAYER NAME

POS

CLUB

CAPS IN 15s

Katy Augustyn

Reserve

Berkeley All Blues 

33

Hope Rogers

Reserve

Women’s Sevens Residency Program 

25

Charli Jacoby

Reserve

Chicago North Shore

0

Alycia Washington

Reserve

New York Rugby 

17

Joyce Taufa

Reserve

Lindenwood University

3

Ashlee Byrge

Reserve

Women’s Sevens Residency Program

0

Bui Baravilala

Reserve

San Diego Lgion

6

Bulou Mataitoga

Reserve 

Berkeley All Blues 

0


Women’s National Team Staff 

General Manager | Emilie Bydwell 

Head Coach | Rob Cain

Assistant Coach | Jamie Burke

Assistant Coach | Kate Daley

Assistant Coach | Shawn Pittman

Coach/Team Manager | Jenny Lui

Head Strength & Conditioning Coach | Ian Jones

Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach | Michaela Staniford

Head Performance Analyst | Dave Gardner 

Team Doctor | Terence Cronin

Head Athletic Trainer | Bri Arsenault

Assistant Athletic Trainer | Amie Kern

Assistant Athletic Trainer | Jade Callan

Support Manager | Frank Palumbo

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