USA Women’s Sevens Dubai 2019 Squad

The USA Women’s Eagles Sevens Team opened the 2019-2020 HSBC World Rugby Sevens with their first home gold medal at home at the USA Sevens in Glendale. It was also their second ever in consecutive tournaments, with the win in Biarritz to conclude the 2018-19 season.

The second round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series will be in Dubai on December 5-7 and will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Gold.

Head Coach Chris Brown has made two changes from Glendale with Kris Thomas and Kayla Canett rejoining the squad. Thomas was unavailable for the previous tournament due to injury and will serve as Co-Captain along with Abby Gustaitis. Kayla Canett last played at Biarritz Sevens where the United States women won their first gold.

Alev Kelter had a strong performance at Glendale reaching the top five in three statistical categories including first in runs made, third in restarts, and fifth in points scored.

Cheta Emba and Lauren Doyle scored tries on the final play against Canada and New Zealand to lift the U.S. to the Cup Final.

The squad headed for Dubai has 173 appearances in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

The United States will face 12th ranked Brazil, 7th ranked Russia and 6th ranked Canada in Pool A.


1. Cheta Emba Prop/Wing 13
2. Ilona Maher Center/Prop 8
3. Abby Gustaitis (Co-Captain) Prop/Hooker 9
4. Nicole Heavirland Hooker / Scrumhalf 20
5. Alev Kelter Center/Prop 30
6. Lauren Doyle Flyhalf/Wing 26
7. Naya Tapper Wing/Prop 18
8. Jordan Matyas Prop 11
9. Fane Haungatau Prop 1
10. Kayla Canett Scrumhalf/Flyhalf 7
11. Kris Thomas (Co-Captain) Hooker/Center 22
12. Kristi Kirshe Center/Wing 5


Head Coach Chris Brown
Strength & Conditioning Matt Long
Athletic Trainer Nicole Titmas
Sports Psychologist Peter Haberl
Team Manager Liz Strohecker


“For us, it’s huge that we stick to the process and enjoy the moments along the way. If we have this mindset, we recognize that every day we have the opportunity to grow and make some little wins that will be of great value later in the season.

“We saw significant progress in our general attack in Glendale however we were a long way off our defensive best. With a mindset of controlling what we can control, we are looking for a more consistent all-round performance during the second and third leg of the series. And with such a strong pool we will need to step up to the next level.

“It’s been a solid block where we’ve had a decent amount of time to make a few enhancement both sides of the ball. Warren Abrahams has had a big effect on expanding our attack understanding and what options we have available and as a group, we are continuing to make big steps in decision making and how we solve problems.”


vs Brazil Dec 5 – 6:58 AM ET
vs Russia Dec 6 – 1:06 AM ET
vs Canada Dec 6 – 6:18 AM ET

• Cup Quarterfinals begin on Saturday, Dec 7 at 12:44 AM ET
• 11th Place Playoffs begin on Saturday, Dec 7 at 12 AM ET


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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant