September 21, 2016
Women’s Eagles XVs Specific Residency Program
This article has modified a USA Rugby Release issued earlier today.
USA Rugby has launched the first XVs specific residency program at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California. Four capped Eagles, Jordan Gray, Molly Kinsella, Samantha Pankey and Hope Rogers are now part of this program as the national team heads into the final year of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 preparations.
The Women’s Rugby Super Series that was held in Utah this Summer, the Fall tour to France, as well as the Women’s National Team Pathway should help Head Coach Pete Steinberg select the World Cup travel squad.
The capped Eagles are living in residence near the OTC with housing and training costs provided by the residency program. The program is expected to expand in the coming months with the High Performance staff working to integrate the XVs and sevens athletes and staff members to take full advantage of the facilities in Chula Vista.
Alex Magleby said “This move is part of the integration of the women’s high performance program. We need to work together to maximize the performance of the sevens and 15s programs by collaborating on staff, player development, and competitions.”
High performance opportunities are for the Women Eagles include training and playing with the Women’s Premier League’s San Diego Surfers.
Pete Steinberg said”Our players need to play 15s if we want to compete with the best. Not only can the athletes train at a world-class facility, they get to experience strong coaching and the opportunity to play good rugby with the Surfers.”
Future plans to include additional athletes in southern California would allow for the Eagles to assemble throughout the year, have a stable training base for World Cup squad members, and increase team continuity as more members relocate to San Diego. Relocation is not required however, as their are several high-level clubs, colleges and National Development Academies providing elite training environments.
Steinberg said “We want to offer this option to the player, but it is not a requirement to come to San Diego. However, by having a core of the team in one place, it will significantly reduce the costs of assembly and allow us to close the gap in training days that teams like England have in their preparation.”
The residency program for XVs athletes will see the World Cup hopefuls follow a XVs-specific regimen based on the Eagles’ standards and game plan, as well as train alongside the sevens residents. They will work with Women’s Eagles Sevens Head Coach Richie Walker and the a new head of physical performance that is expected to be hired soon in order for the athletes to enhance their conditioning and essential skills in a full-time environment.
ATAVUS Academy has already hosted training and workout sessions for the four XVs athletes, while the sevens program has been away from the OTC, with training set to resume on-site in October.
The sevens residency program at the OTC began in 2012 and more than 30 athletes have been contracted to train full-time at the Olympic headquarters for the majority of summer sports. There they enjoyed training at world-class facilities with natural grass fields and professional staffers. Several athletes have split time with the sevens and XVs national teams looking to be selected by both national teams.
With the World Cup approaching and the Olympics having just ended, the teams now have the means and resources to collectively pool national team talent and provide them with year-round competition.
Magleby said “The opportunity to bring the sevens and 15s athletes closer together will help us develop world-class players for the World Cup in 2017, as well as prepare for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The more our best athletes get together to play and train, the better we will compete on the world stage.”
Expect national team updates for both the athletes and the staff, as well as the Fall tour to France selects at a later time.