USA Women’s Rugby World Cup XVs Performance Squad

USA Rugby Release by Aalina Tabani

Head Coach Rob Cain has named 51 players to the USA Women’s XV National Team’s World Cup Performance Squad. The program will hold two 7-week training blocks at the RugbyTown National Training Center before departing for the World Cup in New Zealand at the beginning of August. 

The first training block runs from March 13 to May 2 and features the bulk of players named to the Performance Squad with consideration for those who have club commitments in the UK and Sevens Residency. At the end of May, the squad will filter down to 40 players who will assemble for a final World Cup Residency from May 31 to July 21. The official World Cup team will be selected once Residency concludes. 

Upon arrival in New Zealand, all players and staff will complete mandatory two-week testing and quarantine period. Following this, it is proposed that a group of pre-World Cup fixtures will be played to optimize preparation before pool play begins. 

Of the 51 players named, 11 have competed in at least one XVs World Cup while 15 seek their first cap. The Performance Squad also includes 8 USA Sevens players who have the opportunity to compete in both the Olympics and Rugby World Cup. 

Head Coach Rob Cain said:

“What a great opportunity to continue the exciting platform from November at our RugbyTown National Training Center. We learned so much in terms of where we are, where we need to be and the time it will take to get there. The World Cup may seem far away but 259 days or 6240 hours is the time we knew we had from January 1.

“The ability to take those fresh learnings and pick back up so soon is a very exciting prospect for the group. This schedule is geared towards enabling the players to perform, meeting the real threat of no domestic rugby or training environments for the past year head-on. New Zealand, England, and France having full domestic seasons alongside international fixtures continue to present threats to our own goals.  

“We have spent the past 2 years getting to the point where rugby is first but underpinned by physical qualities that are hard to match. We have gone about our business very quietly, adapting to the needs of the group at every opportunity. This hard road was created to allow our rugby, leadership culture, and people to continuously evolve; so when we experience real pressure at the World Cup, they can be the points of difference when we need them to. If we weren’t clear about our intentions for New Zealand, our actions speak volumes now.” 

Women’s Eagles World Cup Full Preparation Schedule 

  • January to February: Remote training 
  • March 13 to May 2: Block #1 Training for 51 players in Glendale, CO  
  • May 2 to May 30: Remote training 
  • May 31 to July 21: World Cup Residency for 40 players in Glendale, CO 
  • July 22 to July 30: Recovery period, final World Cup Squad selection 
  • August 2: Team Departs for New Zealand 
  • August 21: Proposed Pre-World Cup matches 
  • September 18 to October 16: Rugby World Cup 2021

USA Women’s XVs National Team Performance Squad 

Cassidy Bargell Scrumhalf Harvard University uncapped
Catie Benson Prop Life West Gladiatrix 23
Meya Bizer Center USA Sevens 18
Stacey Bridges Lock Beantown Rugby 40
Elizabeth Cairns Flanker Life West Gladiatrix 11
Kayla Canett-Oca Full Back USA Sevens 7
Gabby Cantorna Flyhalf Exeter Chiefs 8
Jennine Duncan Wing Exeter Chiefs 7
Rachel Ehrecke Back Row Colorado Gray Wolves  uncapped
Nana Fa’avesi Center USA Sevens 2
Tess Feury Wing New York Rugby 6
Megan Foster Flyhalf San Diego Surfers 5
Saher Hamdan Hooker Life University uncapped
Fane “Eti” Haungatau Center Lindenwood 3
McKenzie Hawkins Flyhalf Colorado Gray Wolves 3
Jett Hayward Hooker Life West Gladiatrix uncapped
Emily Henrich Center Dartmouth Rugby 8
Mata Hingano Center Life West Gladiatrix uncapped
Leti Hingano Back Three Life West Gladiatrix 2
Katana Howard Flyhalf Twin City Amazons 4
Charli Jacoby Prop Chicago North Shore 6
Nick James Prop Houston Athletic 12
Erica Jarrell Second Row Harvard University uncapped
Rachel Johnson Flanker Exeter Chiefs 7
Kathryn Johnson No. 8 Twin City Amazons 2
Layla Alev Kelter Center USA Sevens 13
Kristi Kirshe Back Three USA Sevens uncapped
Joanna Kitlinski No. 8 Exeter Chiefs 14
Jenny Kronish Lock Colorado Gray Wolves uncapped
Kayla Lawson Wing San Diego Surfers uncapped
Maya Learned Prop Colorado Gray Wolves 2
Sarah Levy Back Three New York Rugby
Shelby Lin Scrumhalf Berkeley All Blues uncapped
Sam Luther Second Row Colorado Gray Wolves uncapped
Ilona Maher Back Three USA Sevens uncapped
Bulou Mataitoga Fullback Berkeley All Blues 3
Jordan Matyas No. 8 USA Sevens 18
Olivia Ortiz Scrumhalf Davenport & Chicago North Shore 5
Jetta Owens Back Three Virginia Tech uncapped
Neariah Persinger Wing Life West Gladiatrix 1
Hope Rogers-Dellerman Prop Life West Gladiatrix 29
Kristine Sommer Lock Harlequins Rfc 13
Nicole Strasko Flanker Life West Gladiatrix 7
Amy Talei Bonte Center Life West Gladiatrix 6
Samantha Tancredi Prop Lindenwood uncapped
Hallie Taufoou Back Row ARPTC uncapped
Kristen Thomas Wing USA Sevens 11
Kathryn Treder Hooker Beantown Rugby 2
Alycia Washington Lock New York Rugby 22
Carly Waters Scrumhalf Colorado Gray Wolves 4
Kate Zackary Flanker Exeter Chiefs 15

USA Women’s XVs National Team Staff 

Women’s High-Performance Director  | Emilie Bydwell
Head Coach | Rob Cain
Assistant Coach | Rich Ashfield
Assistant Coach | Jamie Burke
Assistant Coach | Kate Daley
Assistant Coach | Neil Harris
Assistant Coach | Jenny Lui
Team Manager | Louise Stewart
Strength & Conditioning | Sylvia Braaten
Sports Scientist | Conor Sweeney 
Performance Analyst | Callum Howells 
Team Doctor | Terrence Cronin
Athletic Trainer | Bri Arsenault
Athletic Trainer | Katherine Henry
Athletic Trainer | Jade Callen
Logistics Coordinator – Denver | Dee Nash

Women’s National XVs Team COVID-19 Safety Protocols

  • Players are required to show a negative test before travel, complete an isolation period on the ground in Colorado and show a negative test before training begins
  • Players are placed in training groups & pods in accordance with state guidelines
  • Team members are required to eliminate all community exposure throughout the daily training environment and sign an agreement committing to this standard
  • Symptom screenings are conducted twice daily
  • Periodic testing protocol implemented through the 7-week block

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