August 7, 2017
USA Women’s Eagles vs. Italy Squads for #WRWC2017
Photo: World Rugby
Women’s Eagles Head Coach Pete Steinberg selected his 23 athlete team to face Italy in the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup opener for both teams. Kickoff will be at 11:30am ET at the UCD Bowl in Dublin, Ireland on Wednesday, August 8.
The Eagles are ranked seventh, while Italy is ranked ninth. The Women’s Eagles will then play Spain on Sunday, August 13 at 9:45 a.m. ET at the UCD Bowl and then England on Thursday, August 17 at 9:30 a.m. ET at Billings Park UCD in Dublin. After Pool play concludes the knockouts will take place on August 22 and 26 in Belfast, Ireland.
The USA starting XV team includes four players with previous World Cup experience in in Kathryn Augustyn, Sylvia Braaten, Devin Owsiany, and Kimber Rozier with two others on the reserves in Naima Reddick and Hope Rogers.
Other starters includes Women’s Premier League players Stacey Bridges, Tiffany Faaee, Alycia Washington and Kate Zackary with Sam Pankey a reserve. USA Women’s Sevens players Cheta Emba, Nicole Heavirland, Naya Tapper and Kristen Thomas join the starters with USA Olympians Alev Kelter and Jessica Javelet as reserves. Should Javelet enter the match, she will earn her first Women’s Eagles cap.
Italy returns to the Women’s Rugby World Cup after a 15 year absence. Only flanker Silvia Gaudino and fly-half Veronica Schiavon return from the 2002 team that finished 12th. The pair has 145 caps between them.
Italy has an experienced side to face the USA with seven players having at least 50 caps and another three that can reach that in Ireland. Only lock Sara Tounesi is uncapped.
Italy enters the World Cup having not played in tests outside of the Six Nations.
USA Women’s Eagles: 1 Catherine Benson 2 Kathryn Augustyn 3 Tiffany Faaee (C) 4 Stacey Bridges 5 Alycia Washington 6 Sara Parsons 7 Kate Zackary 8 Jordan Gray 9 Devin Owsiany 10 Kimber Rozier 11 Kris Thomas 12 Sylvia Braaten 13 Nicole Heavirland 14 Naya Tapper 15 Cheta Ember 16 Sam Pankey 17 Naima Reddick 18 Hope Rogers 19 Abby Gustaitis 20 Kristine Sommer 21 Kayla Canett 22 Alev Kelter 23 JJ Lavelet
Italy: 1 Elia Cucchiella 2 Lucia Cammarano 3 Melissa Bettoni 4 Flavia Severin 5 Alice Trevisan 6 Isabella Locatelli 7 Elisa Giordano 8 Silvia Gaudino 9 Sara Barattin (C) 10 Veronica Schiavon 11 Maria Magatti 12 Sofia Stefan 13 Maria Cioffi 14 Michela Sillari 15 Manuela Furlan 16 Marta Ferrari 17 Lucia Gai 18 Sara Tounesi 19 Valeria Fedrighi 20 Ilaria Arrighetti 21 Beatrice Rigoni 22 Paola Zangirolami 23 Veronica Madia
USA Women’s Eagles Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 Coaching Staff
Pete Steinberg – Head Coach
Peter Baggetta – Associate Head Coach
Richie Walker – Assistant Coach
Liz Kirk – Assistant Coach
Richard Ashfield – Assistant Coach
Ian Gibbons – Head of Physical Performance
Katie Gloyer – Physician
Michelle Look – Physician
Amy Valenta – Physiotherapist
Sarah Leslie – Physiotherapist
Bri Arsenault – Physiotherapist
Caitlin Singletary – Video Analyst
Julie Sutcliffe – Sports Psychologist
Amie Kern – Assistant Manager & Massage Therapist
Roshna Wunderlich – Manager
To read about the Eagles 2017 Rugby World Cup Squad, please click here.
USA Women’s Eagles Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017
v. Italy – Wednesday, Aug. 9 @ 11:30 a.m. ET
v. Spain – Sunday, Aug. 13 @ 9:45 a.m. ET
v. England – Thursday, Aug. 17 @ 9:30 a.m. ET
Semifinals – Tuesday, Aug. 22
Finals – Saturday, Aug. 26