USA Women’s 2019 Cape Town Sevens Squad

The USA Women’s Sevens team will compete in their third tournament of the 2019-2020 HSBC Sevens Series in Cape Town from December 13-15 on NBC Sports Gold.

The team is currently tied with New Zealand in first-place after winning gold in Glendale and bronze in Dubai. It was their sixth straight medal and an eighth straight semifinal appearance since last season.

Head Coach Chris Brown has made one change to the roster with Kasey McCravey on the squad and Kayla Canett moving to an injury reserve.

Kristi Kirshe was selected to the Dream Team at Dubai and Alev Kelter also shined both offensively and defensively. Kelter broke numerous tackles in scoring or assisting with tries and created turnovers at the breakdowns. She is first in overall points scored. Kirshe outpaced defenders and is third in tries scored.

Cheta Emba also had an impressive performance in Dubai and her physicality was a factor in the team’s success. Eti Haungatau also scored her first two HSBC Series tries.

The full roster owns 185 cumulative tournaments.

The Eagles Sevens will face Ireland, England and Australia in Pool C with ninth-place Ireland on Day One, tenth place England next on Day Two with third-place Australia rounding out Day Two.


“We recognized that we missed a good opportunity when we had the chance to take control in that Dubai semifinal against New Zealand.

“Ultimately, some of the simple errors we saw through the Brazil and Russia games — which didn’t hurt us at the time — were present in the New Zealand game. A side of that caliber will certainly take their opportunities on every error we present them.

“We are in great spirits to experience the culture and energy in Cape Town. The team has loved this city and has been able to connect with the community in several meaningful ways including an inspirational visit with young children alongside Be the Difference Foundation.

“We look forward to building on that inspiration for all those we touched and the larger rugby community who adore our players this weekend.”

USA Women’s Squad

1. Cheta Emba Prop/Wing 14
2. Ilona Maher Center/Prop 9
3. Abby Gustaitis (Co-Captain) Prop/Hooker 10
4. Nicole Heavirland Hooker / Scrumhalf 21
5. Alev Kelter Center/Prop 31
6. Lauren Doyle Flyhalf/Wing 27
7. Naya Tapper Wing/Prop 19
8. Jordan Matyas Prop 12
9. Fane Haungatau Prop 2
10. Kasey McCravey Hooker / Flyhalf 3
11. Kris Thomas (Co-Captain) Hooker/Center 23
12. Kristi Kirshe Center/Wing 6
13. Kayla Canett Scrumhalf / Flyhalf 8


Head Coach Chris Brown
Assistant Coach Warren Abrahams 
Strength & Conditioning Matt Long
Athletic Trainer Nicole Titmas
Team Manager Liz Strohecker

CAPE TOWN Schedule


vs Ireland Fri, Dec 13 – 7:22 AM ET
vs England Sat, Dec 14 – 2:07 AM ET
vs Australia Sat, Dec 14 – 7:57 AM ET

• Cup Quarterfinals begin on Sunday, Dec 15 at 2:50 AM ET
• Consolation rounds begin on Sunday, Dec 15 at 6:11 AM ET

Teams who lose in the quarterfinals will have no further matches to contest. For these teams, a points delineation is determined based on points differential. 

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant