USA Women’s Sevens Squad Named for Vancouver & Edmonton

USA Rugby Release: Photo – Mike Lee / KLC Fotos

Director of Women’s High Performance Emilie Bydwell will lead a young group of USA Women’s Sevens players for Fast Four tournaments in Vancouver (Sept 18-19) and Edmonton (Sept 20-21). Taking place less than two months after the Tokyo Olympics, both events will see up-and-coming talent shine against the likes of Tokyo silver-medalists France, Team GB and Canada.

Full schedule will be confirmed by World Rugby in the coming weeks at Matches will be broadcast on NBC’s family of networks with exact locations to be confirmed closer to date.

Roster Highlights:

  • 8 players represent growing talent from the USA Sevens academy program
  • Three players bring Olympic experience in 2020 Olympians Kayla Canett and Nia Tolver, as well as 2016 Olympian and 2020 traveling reserve Nana Fa’avesi
  • Lauren Thunen and Stephanie Rovetti return to the senior national team for the first time since Glendale 2019 and Sydney 2020 respectively, after developing in the residency program through last year
  • Emily Fullbrook earns her first selection with the senior national team after being a top performer at Club Sevens National Championships last month
  • USA Women’s 15s Sarah Levy will play in her first senior international 7s event

Opportunities for New Talent

Vancouver and Edmonton are both valuable opportunities for young players to experience elite, international competition in an environment comparable to the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. The official Series returns with back-to-back events in Dubai on November 26-27 and December 3-4 which mark the start of the 2022 season.

Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 also looms in the distance, taking place in Cape Town, South Africa from September 9-11 in what will be a shortened 3-year cycle to the next Olympic Games in Paris 2024.

The Competition

France, Team GB and Canada will all be formidable opponents for the young USA side.

The French came away with silver after defeating Team GB in the semifinal and falling to Gold medalists New Zealand in Tokyo. It could be said that there is unfinished business between Team GB and the USA as the opposition knocked the Eagles Sevens out of the Olympic medal rounds with a strong victory in the Quarterfinals.

Hosts Canada, as everyone knows, always play a tight contest against the United States which only adds to an exciting series of matchups for both events.

Director of Women’s High Performance Emilie Bydwell said

“We are excited as a program for the opportunity to compete across these two tournaments.  

“We have a team of talented players who worked hard developing in our residency and academy programs over the last year to ensure we can continue growing the program’s  presence on the international stage, evolve our playing philosophies, and have continuity not only through Paris 2024 but LA 2028.

“Our goal is to allow each player to express their individual playing identity, while also being as threatening as possible as a unit. I think the USA Rugby community will be excited to watch this team grow together and see many of our future 7s stars begin their journey with the Senior Women’s 7s team.” 

Full Squad for Vancouver and Edmonton Fast Four

Sui A’au, Prop / Center, Uncapped

Kayla Canett, Halfback/Flyhalf, 10

Nana Fa’avesi, Hooker / Scrumhalf, 18

Jazmine Gray, Wing, Uncapped

Summer Harris Jones, Prop / Hooker, Uncapped

Emily Fulbrook, Prop / Hooker, Uncapped

Sarah Levy, Center, Uncapped

Stephanie Rovetti, Flyhalf/Wing, 6

Alex Sedrick, Halfback/Flyhalf, Uncapped

Rachel Strasdas, Hooker, Uncapped

Salote Tausinga, Prop / Center, Uncapped

Lauren Thunen, Prop, 1

Nia Toliver, Prop / Wing, Uncapped

USA Women’s Sevens Traveling Staff

Director of Women’s High Performance Emilie Bydwell

Strength & Conditioning Joshua Schnell

Athletic Trainer Hilary Stepansky

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