USA Player Pool for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017

February 9, 2017

USA Player Pool for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017


This article has been modified from USA Rugby article by Chad Wise.

Head Coach Pete Steinberg is both Summer and Fall International matches to prepare for the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland in August. More than a dozen new caps were awarded in eight international test matches. The final World Cup squad of 27 players will be finalized following a two-match international test series this spring along with several domestic competitions.

The athletes selected are likely to be a mix of experienced and younger athletes. The USA needs to increase their number of international competitions said Steinberg.

In speaking with USA Rugby he said that “We’ve realized, for us to be able to compete, we need to really improve our skills. Our focus isn’t going to be as much about playing games as it is to put as many people as possible in a full-time training environment to enhance our skill development.”

In the player pool are ten USA Women’s Eagles Sevens players that are training full-time at Chula Vista. Sevens Head Coach Richie Walker has also been named as backs coach for the World Cup team.

Other members of the pool include capped Eagles and players with WPL teams,  4 collegiate athletes, and 10 players that are World Cup veterans.

In this later category are Phaidra Knight, the most capped Eagle with 34 test appearances, Kate Daley the USA Captain in 2014, Stacey Bridges with 27 appearances and Kristin Zdanczewicz with 31. Olympic captain Kelly Griffin has not yet been capped in XVs, but is the U.S.’s most experienced sevens player.

USA Women’s Eagles – Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 Player Pool

  • Baylee Annis (Seattle Saracens)
  • Kathryn Augustyn (Berkeley All Blues)
  • Catherine Benson (Life West)
  • Sylvia Braaten (Twin Cities Amazons)
  • Stacey Bridges (Twin Cities Amazons)
  • Nicole Burr (Augusta Furies)
  • Kayla Canett (Penn State)
  • Ryan Carlyle (USA Women’s Sevens)
  • Sarah Chobot (Glendale Raptors)
  • Kate Daley (New York Rugby Club)
  • Cheta Ember (USA Women’s Sevens)
  • Joanna Fa’avesi (USA Women’s Sevens)
  • Tiffany Faaee (New York Rugby Club)
  • Tess Feury (Penn State)
  • Megan Foster (Life West)
  • Jordan Gray (Life West)
  • Hunter Griendling (San Diego Surfers)
  • Kelly Griffin (unattached, Head Women’s Coach Santa Barbara Rugby Academy)
  • Abby Gustaitis (Northern Virginia)
  • Nicole Heavirland (USA Women’s Sevens)
  • Alev Kelter (USA Women’s Sevens)
  • Molly Kinsella (San Diego Surfers)
  • Joanna Kitlinski (Glendale Raptors)
  • Phaidra Knight (New York Rugby Club)
  • Bulou Mataitoga (USA Women’s Sevens)
  • Samantha Pankey (San Diego Surfers
  • Sara Parsons (Northern Virginia)
  • Annakaren Pedraza (Lindenwoood University)
  • Ashley Perry (American Rugby Pro Training Center)
  • Christiane Pheil (Chicago North Shore)
  • Naima Reddick (Seattle Saracens)
  • Jamila Reinhardt (San Diego Surfers)
  • Hope Rogers (San Diego Surfers)
  • Kimber Rozier (Scion Sirens)
  • Nicole Snyder (Bloomsburg University)
  • Kristine Sommer (Seattle Saracens)
  • Kelsi Stockert(USA Women’s Sevens)
  • Nicole Strasko (USA Women’s Sevens)
  • Naya Tapper (USA Women’s Sevens)
  • Kristen Thomas (USA Women’s Sevens)
  • Alycia Washington (New York Rugby Club)
  • Jess Wooden (Aylesford Bulls Ladies)
  • Kate Zackary (San Diego Surfers)
  • Kristin Zdanczewicz (Minnesota Valkyries)
USA Women’s Eagles – Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 Coaching Staff
Pete Steinberg – Head Coach
Roshna Wunderlich – Manager
Richard Ashfield – Assistant Coach
Peter Baggetta – Associate Head Coach
Liz Kirk – Assistant Coach
Richie Walker – Assistant Coach

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant