Women’s Eagles Sevens Squad for Kitakyushu Sevens
It has been a long time since the last stop of the 2017-2018 HSBC Women’s World Series Sevens, the Sydney Sevens January 26-28. During the USA Sevens in Las Vegas, the Women’s Falcons played an exhibition series with number one team in the world, Australia.
Richie Walker has named the Women’s Eagles Sevens team for Kitakyushu Sevens April 20-22 (based on Eastern time). The team will leave for Japan one week ahead of the competition.
The USA find themselves in 5th place in the Women’s Sevens standing after a 2nd place finishes in Dubai and an 8th place finishes in Sydney.
So far, Alev Kelter (63) and Naya Tapper (55) are the leading point scorers for the team. Veterans Kristen Thomas, Kate Zackary, and Kelly Griffin will participate in their first tournament of the season.,
Richie Walker experimented last year adding a powerful fifteen athlete to the team with success. Hope Rogers forces other teams to commit more than one player to the tackle and this has freed up other players to attack.
The team also has captain Nicole Heavirland, veteran Ryan Carlyle, 15s Eagles and 7s Eagles players Cheta Emba and Jordan Gray, as well as Northeast Academy and Eagles 7s player Sarah Buonopane.
Head Coach Richie Walker also added another crossover star to the roster in Neariah Persinger, who made an impression after playing with the Falcons in 2018 Okinawa Sevens Invitational.
Injuries have also impacted selections with injuries to Kelsi Stockert and Natalie Kosko. Stockert who last competed during the Falcons’ exhibition series with the Aussie Pearls in Las Vegas, sustained an MCL injury during scrimmages last week. Natalie Kosko sustained a knee injury during warm-ups and will miss the rest of the 2017-18 season.
The Eagles are drawn in Pool B facing France, New Zealand and Japan LIVE on The Rugby Channel.
WOMEN’S SEVENS ROSTER – 2018 HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens
Sarah Buonopane, Ryan Carlyle, Cheta Emba, Jordan Gray, Kelly Griffin, Nicole Heavirland (C), Alev Kelter, Neariah Persinger, Hope Rogers, Naya Tapper, Kristen Thomas, Kate Zackary
WOMEN’S SEVENS STAFF – 2018 HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens
Head Coach – Richie Walker
Athletic Trainer – Sarah Leslie
Head of Physical Preparation – Jon Hood
Analyst – Dave Gardner
Team Manager – Liz Strohecker
WOMEN’S SEVENS SCHEDULE – 2018 HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens
LIVE on The Rugby Channel
vs. France Fri, Apr. 20 – 10:58 PM ET
vs. New Zealand Sat, Apr. 21 – 2:04 AM ET
vs. Japan Sat, Apr. 21 – 4:26 AM ET
HSBC World Series Standing 5th
HSBC World Series Points 24
Most Points Scored by a Player Alev Kelter – 5th (63 points)
Most Tries Scored by a Player Naya Tapper – 5th (11 tries)
Most Conversions by a Player Alev Kelter – 4th (14)
All-Time Points Scored by a Team USA – 4th (2,868)