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USA Women’s Eagles Sevens Squad Selected for HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens

April 10, 2017

USA Women’s Eagles Sevens Squad Selected for HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens

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Doug Coil

USA Rugby Update: April 17, 2017
“Ryan Carlyle, still traveling to Japan with the Women’s Eagles Sevens, has been replaced in the 12-player roster for HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens by Lilly Durbin.”

Women’s Eagles Sevens Head Coach Richie Walker has selected two uncapped athletes for the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series in Japan for HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens.

The USA played Canada in the HSBC Sydney 7s Cup Final and also at the HSBC USA Sevens Bronze final. At the Kitakyushu Sevens they will be in Pool D along with Canada, England and Spain. The later two matches will be on Day One, with the broadcast available to viewers in the United States on The Rugby Channel.

With the Rugby World Cup being held in Ireland in August, 2017, the USA Women’s Eagles used eight of Richie Walker’s selections for Japan at the 2017 Can-Am Series XVs Series at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center two weeks ago. Eagles Sevens Captain Alev Kelter started for both of these matches  at center and and also handled the team’s kicking duties. Kristen Thomas made her international test debut at wing and Kelly Griffin, the most capped Women’s Eagles Sevens player, also debuted at scrum half.

Jordan Gray, a graduate of Brigham Young University, with ten caps for the Eagles XV, will make her Series debut. She plays No. 8 for the Eagles and also plays for the Women’s Premier League, San Diego Surfers. She is also part of the residency program at the Chula Vista Training Center.

Seattle Saracens’ Megan Sanders, who played at the Vancouver Rugby Festival with the USA Falcons development squad and at the Las Vegas Invitational Tournament on an Atavus select side, will also debut.

Bulou Mataitoga returns to the squad after appearing in Dubai and being unavailable for the last two legs. She and Kelsi Stockert, who played at the Okinawa Sevens, as well as the USA Sevens, were part of the greater Can-Am player pool.

Nicole Synder, who played at the USA Sevens, and Ryan Carlyle, who has many Sevens caps, are part of the squad. Carlyle has recovered from an injury at the April 1 test against Canada.

Joanne Fa’avesi, Nicole Heavirland and Naya Tapper also were part of the Can-Am Series.

The HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens is the first Series event to be held in Japan. The USA will play Spain on Friday, April 21, at 9:30pm ET. On Saturday, April 22, they will play England at 12:14 a.m. ET and followed by Canada at 3:20 a.m. ET. The entire tournament can be watched live for free on The Rugby Channel.

Women’s Eagles Sevens | HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens
1. Joanne Fa’avesi 2. Kristen Thomas 3. Kelly Griffin 4. Nicole Heavirland 5. Ryan Carlyle Lilly Durban 6. Alev Kelter (C) 7. Naya Tapper 8. Jordan Gray 9. Kelsi Stockert 10. Megan Sanders 11. Bulou Mataitoga 12. Nicole Snyder

Women’s Eagles Sevens | HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens
v. Spain – Friday, April 21 @ 9:30 p.m. ET
v. England – Saturday, April 22 @ 12:14 a.m. ET
v. Canada – Saturday, April 22 @ 3:20 a.m. ET

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