USA Rugby 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Rugby Team Update

July 30, 2016

USA Rugby 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Rugby Team Update


Photo: Doug Coil

UPDATE: Cheta Emba replaces Meya Bizer (injury) on traveling reserves! She joins Nicole Heavirland in going to Rio. Kelly Griffin will captain the side.

Article is based on USA Rugby Press Release: Chad Wise – July 18, 2016

It has been a little over a year since the USA Women’s and Men’s Rugby Sevens teams qualified for the Olympic Games in Rio. Today the USA Rugby has announced the 12 athletes and eight staff members who will represent Team USA in the first Rugby Sevens competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Head Coach Richie Walker said “It is an exciting time for USA Rugby and I am very honored to name the first USA Women’s Sevens rugby team to compete in the Olympics. “Most of the players that I have selected have a considerable amount of experience. Every player has played on the Sevens World Series and some players have played 15s for the USA, as well.”

Although men’s rugby 15s has been played in the Olympics during the 1920s, this is the first time women’s rugby will be played at the Olympics. All matches will be played at Deodoro Stadium Aug. 6-8.

USA Rugby High Performance Director Alex Magleby said “There has been a significant acceleration in work-rate, efficiency, and execution over the last couple of months. Richie and staff have brought a lot of clarity and connectedness to camp. We can’t wait for the team to finally be rewarded with the opportunity to perform to our potential on this stage.”

Walker discussed his decisions on the final roster saying “I have selected a group of girls with a wide variety of playing styles and I am excited to see them all come together and play for each other in Rio.” He will announce the captain later.

The USA Women’s Sevens Olympic team will continue to train at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista until July 26 and then travel to Florida for a week training camp. They will then leave for Brazil to be ready for the Opening Ceremony on Friday, August 5. The Women’s Rugby Sevens kicks off at 10am ET on August 6, with the USA playing Fiji at Noon.

NBC broadcast schedule


Women’s – 6-8 August (seeding in brackets)
Pool A: Australia (one), USA (six), Fiji (seven), Colombia (12)
Pool B: New Zealand (two), France (five), Spain (eight), Kenya (11)
Pool C: Canada (three), Great Britain (four), Brazil (nine), Japan (10)

Full match schedule:  Women’s Rugby Sevens Summer Olympic Schedule

USA Pool Matches
  • Fiji – August 6 Noon ET
  • Colombia – August 6 5pm ET
  • Australia – August 7 at 12:30pm ET
  • Quarterfinal – August 7 4pm or 5pm ET
  • Semi-Finals August 8 – 1:30pm & 2pm ET
  • Bronze – 5:30pm ET
  • Gold 6pm ET

Meet the Athletes

The USA Women’s Eagles Sevens clinched a berth for the Rio Olympics in June 2015 at the NACRA Sevens Championships. Carmen Farmer, Lauren Doyle, Joanne Fa’avesi, Kelly Griffin, Alev Kelter, and Richelle Stephens were part of that squad. NACRA has since been renamed Rugby Americas North.

The team then went to the Pan American Games in Toronto and won a silver medal. Lauren Doyle, Joanne Fa’avesi, Kelly Griffin, Kathryn Johnson, Alev Kelter, and Richelle Stephens were members of that squad.

The team has several veterans who won the bronze medal at the World Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2013. Victoria Folayan, Kelly Griffin, Kathryn Johnson and Jill Potter has that honor. Bui Baravilala was unable to compete in Moscow due to injury and replaced by Ryan Carlyle.

Bui Baravilala and Jessica Javelet, and the other team members have also competed in the HSBC World Rugby Womens Sevens Series.

Congratulations to the athletes that will represent the USA at the Rio Olympics. While their is disappointment for a number of athletes that have worn the Women’s Eagles Sevens jersey  but were not selected as part of the Olympic team, the team’s success would not have been possible without your contributions.

USA Women’s Sevens Squad: Bui Baravilala,Ryan Carlyle, Lauren Doyle, Joanne Fa’avesi, Carmen Farmer, Victoria Folayan, Kelly Griffin, Jessica Javelet, Kathryn Johnson, Alev Kelter, Jillion Potter, Richelle Stephens

Staff: Richie Walker, Head Coach; Pete Steinberg, Assistant Coach; Jared Siegmund, Strength Coach; Nicole Titmas, Physio; Andrew Locke, Video Analyst; Dr. Lisa Bartoli, Team Doctor; Emilie Bydwell, Team Leader; Alex Magleby, Director of Rugby

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant