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Ireland at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Uncapped James And Javelet Included In USA’s WRWC Squad

Uncapped James And Javelet Included In USA’s WRWC Squad

USA Women’s head coach Pete Steinberg has finalised his 28-player squad for the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland next month. They are in Pool B with defending champions England, Italy and Spain.

There are two new caps in prop Nicole James and Sevens star Jessica Javelet, whose Rio Olympics team-mate Alev Kelter is also included, and seven World Cup veterans are part of the selection.

Capped half-backs Kayla Canett, who is only 19, and Annakaren Pedraza (20) will attend their first major tournament, alongside experienced play-makers Deven Owsiany and Kimber Rozier, as the youngest players in a squad which has an average age of 27.

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Forwards Kathryn Augustyn (26) and Stacey Bridges (28) lead the way in Tests appearances, with a total of 245 caps amongst the Dublin-bound panel. Tiffany Faaee captained the US in this year’s Can-Am Series and is one of 11 players who featured in the most recent Women’s Premier League season.

Hope Rogers, one of six San Diego Surfers’ Championship-winning players to make the cut, has returned from an injury – sustained following her debut on the World Series circuit – to strengthen the front row.

Fourteen of the selected squad made at least one appearance during the 2016/17 Sevens Series, including top scorers Kelter and Naya Tapper. Eagles Sevens head coach Richie Walker connects the programmes as one of Steinberg’s assistant coaches, having worked with most of the players at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Centre in Chula Vista, California in recent months.

Augustyn, Sylvia Braaten, Owsiany, Naima Reddick, Rogers and Rozier (pictured below) played in France three years ago as the US outfit, who lost 23-17 to Ireland in the pool stages, finished the 2014 World Cup in sixth place.

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 roster for Ireland.

“With an experienced squad in 2014, we knew we had to get younger for this World Cup,” admitted Steinberg. “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 charges will attend a Send-Off Dinner hosted by the USA Rugby Trust and Scion Restaurant in Silver Spring, Maryland, prior to travelling across the Atlantic at the end of the month. Thanks to the sponsorship of Irish Rugby Tours, the Eagles will 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.

#WRWC2017 Team Profile: USA

WRWC 2017 Fixtures:

Pool B –

USA v Italy, UCD Bowl, 4.30pm, Wednesday, August 9
USA v Spain, UCD Bowl, 2.45pm, Sunday, August 13
England v USA, Billings Park, UCD, 2.30pm, Thursday, August 17

For more on the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup, visit the tournament website – www.rwcwomens.com. Buy your match tickets for #WRWC2017 now on www.ticketmaster.co.uk/wrwc2017 and www.ticketmaster.ie/wrwc2017.

Injury Replacement: Tess Feury (Pennsylvania State University) has replaced Annakaren Pedraza (Lindenwood University) in the squad

USA WRWC 2017 Squad – Backs (12): Sylvia Braaten (Twin Cities Amazons), Kayla Canett (Pennsylvania State University), Cheta Emba (Women’s Eagles Sevens), Tess Feury (Pennsylvania State University), Nicole Heavirland (Women’s Eagles Sevens), Jessica Javelet (Women’s Eagles Sevens) *, Alev Kelter (Women’s Eagles Sevens), Deven Owsiany (San Diego Surfers), Kimber Rozier (Scion Sirens), Naya Tapper (Women’s Eagles Sevens), Kristen Thomas (Women’s Eagles Sevens), Jess Wooden (Aylesford Rugby Club).

Forwards (16): Kathryn Augustyn (Berkeley All Blues), Catherine Benson (Life West), Stacey Bridges (Twin Cities Amazons), Tiffany Faaee (New York Rugby Club) (capt), Jordan Gray (Life West), Abby Gustaitis (Northern Virginia Rugby), Nicole James (Houston Athletic Rugby Club) *, Samantha Pankey (San Diego Surfers), Sara Parsons (Northern Virginia Rugby), Christiane Pheil (Chicago North Shore), Naima Reddick (Seattle Saracens), Jamila Reinhardt (San Diego Surfers), Hope Rogers (San Diego Surfers), Kristine Sommer (Seattle Saracens), Alycia Washington (New York Rugby Club), Kate Zackary (San Diego Surfers).

* Denotes uncapped player