USA Women’s Eagles Head Coach Rob Cain has named his match-day roster to face the Barbarians on Friday, Apr 26 at Infinity Park. Kickoff is at 5 p.m. Mountain Time on FloRugby.com. The match is the first time a Barbarians side has ever faced a U.S. National Team.
Tickets are available at glendaleraptors.com/tickets with the Glendale Raptors and Rugby United New York of Major League Rugby kicking off after at 7:30 PM. One ticket is valid for both games.
Prior to the team’s selection, a high-performance training camp was held with 51 athletes vying to be selected or call attention to themselves for future selection.
Nicole Strasko, Nate Serevi and Amy Naber.return to the team after playing previously for the Women’s Eagles. Strasko, a lock, played her last test match during the 2017 Can-Am Series. Serevi, at No. 8, played against England in July of 2016 and Naber, starting at center, will play for the first time since her test debut against New Zealand in Summer of 2015.
The starting XV includes Twin City Amazon’s Katana Howard, who will debut for the Eagles along with sevens athletes Neariah Persinger and resident-athlete Eti Haungatau. Persinger will make her fifteens debut after last competing with the Eagles Sevens in Kitakyushu 2018. Haungatau will play her first match overall at the senior level, after focusing on the Women’s Sevens Residency Program.
Other resident-athletes Hope Rogers and Ashlee Byrge are in the reserves, along with Bui Baravilala and Bulou Mataitoga. Both Rogers and Baravilala have competed with the senior team in sevens and fifteens while Byrge and Mataitoga have made their national team appearances in sevens.
Byrge debuted at Dubai Sevens 2018, while Rogers and Mataitoga last competed at the senior level during Kitakyushu Sevens in 2018 and 2017, respectively. Baravilala returns for the first time since the Olympic Games Rio 2016.
Alongside the group of long-standing returners is Chicago North Shore’s Charli Jacoby who could play for the first time with the senior team as a reserve.
The full match-day roster owns 176 cumulative caps.
Head Coach Rob Cain said: “As a coaching group we are not just excited for the 23 that will be running out against the Barbarians but also incredibly excited for the inner competition that this week has shown throughout the player pool in camp. It’s always great to see both the excitement and realization of an individual player that they deserve to be in the national team environment.
“The Barbarians are steeped in history, no more so than with this matchday squad, from World Cup winners to multiple World Cup captains to players involved at the Olympics in both their playing and coaching staff we know the type of challenge that lays waiting for us. This is such an exciting platform for all of us as we continue forwards with our adventures in 2019.”
Caps will not be awarded for the Eagles matchup with the Baa-Baas, but the squad will have an opportunity to play the top women’s rugby players from several countries around the world in the famous Barbarians side. Two Women’s Eagle Alumni are on the BaBas squad in 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup athlete Hannah Stolba and 2016 Olympian Carmen Farmer.
USA Women’s Sevens: 1. Catherine Benson (Life West Gladiatrix,17) 2. Joanna Kitlinski (Glendale Merlins,8) 3. Nicole James (Houston Athletic, 6) 4. Stacey Bridges (Beantown Rugby, 36) 5. Nicole Strasko (Life West Gladiatrix, 3) 6. Katherine Zackary (C) (San Diego Surfers, 9) 7. Rachel Johnson (Oregon Sports Union, 3) 8. Nate Serevi (Scion Rugby, 2 9. Carly Waters (New York Rugby, 2) 10. Katana Howard (Twin City Amazon, 0) 11. Neariah Persinger (Unattached,0) 12. Amy Naber (LIfe West Gladiatrix,1) 13. Eti Haungatau (Women’s Sevens Residency Program, 0 14. Jennine Duncan (Seattle Saracens, 2) 15. Gabriella Cantorna (Glendale Merlins, 3) 16. Katy Augustyn (Berkeley All Blues, 33) 17. Hope Rogers (Women’s Sevens Residency Program, 25) 18. Charli Jacoby (Chicago North Shore. 0) 19. Alycia Washington (New York Rugby,17) 20. Joyce Taufa (Lindenwood University, 3) 21. Ashlee Byrge (Women’s Sevens Residency Program, 0) 22. Bui Baravilala (San Diego Surfers, 6) 23. Bulou Mataitoga (Berkeley All Blues, 0)
Women’s National Team Staff
General Manager | Emilie Bydwell
Head Coach | Rob Cain
Assistant Coach | Jamie Burke
Assistant Coach | Kate Daley
Assistant Coach | Shawn Pittman
Coach/Team Manager | Jenny Lui
Head Strength & Conditioning Coach | Ian Jones
Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach | Michaela Staniford
Head Performance Analyst | Dave Gardner
Team Doctor | Terence Cronin
Head Athletic Trainer | Bri Arsenault
Assistant Athletic Trainer | Amie Kern
Assistant Athletic Trainer | Jade Callan
Support Manager | Frank Palumbo
Barbarians: 1 Rochelle Clark (Wasps & England, 137) 2 Fiao’o Fa’amausili (Auckland Marist & New Zealand, 57) 3 Steph Te Ohaere-Fox (Christchurch & New Zealand, 25) 4 Carmen Farmer (Glendale & USA, 11) 5 Dalena Dennison (Warringah & Australia, 12) 6 Paula Fitzpatrick (St Mary’s & Ireland, 40) 7 Alisha Butchers (Worcester Valkyries & Wales, 25) 8 Linda Itunu (Ponsonby & New Zealand, 40) 9 Emma Jensen (Hastings & New Zealand, 49) 10 Elinor Snowsill (Bristol Bears & Wales, 51) 11 Alison Miller (Old Belvedere & Ireland, 47) 12 Helen Nelson (Montpellier & Scotland, 22) 13 Amanda Thornborough (Westshore & Canada, 28) 14 Tova Derk (Wasps) 15 Jasmine Joyce (Worcester Valkyries & Wales, 15) 16 Heather Kerr (Darlington MP & England, 161) 17 Samantha Martinez Gion (Amsterdam & Netherlands, 4) 18 Gill Bourke (Stade Francais & Ireland, 51) 19 Amelia Buckland-Hurry (Bristol Bears, 0) 20 Julia Folk (Castaway Wanderers & Canada, 5) 21Hannah Stolba (Glendale & USA, 12) 22 Andrea Burk (Capilanos & Canada, 38) 23 Katie Mason (Wasps & England, 13)