U.S. Women’s National Team Recovers and Makes Ready for England
GUILDFORD, UK – USA Rugby’s Women’s National Team has regrouped from a difficult loss to Ireland to name an official roster for the final round of Women’s Rugby World Cup pool play against England. This crucial match will determine the USA’s fate in terms of a possible semi-final appearance and will be broadcast on Universal Sports channel at 10 p.m. EST.
England currently holds the lead in Pool B with a convincing 12-try win over Kazakhstan and a more challenging 27-0 contest against Ireland. USA found a similar result against Kazakhstan with an impressive 51-0 offensive display. Their second pool play match offered a different outcome as Ireland was able to capitalize on the USA’s mistakes and come away winners with a score of 22-12. The Women Eagles intend to regain their form by improving their ball retention, while maintaining their focus under pressure.
“The energy is high and the players are ready to play to the best of their abilities. We are looking forward to an elevated game of rugby and showcasing what this team can do when faced with a challenge,” said head coach, Kathy Flores.
The tight five will look to carry over their strong scrum performance against Ireland against a technically sound English side. Farrah Douglas will remain at loosehead prop with Lisa Butts getting the nod at hooker. Jamie Burke will once again provide leadership up front at tighthead.
Blaire Groefsema and Sharon Blaney will provide raw power as the locks, while blindside flanker, Phaidra Knight, and openside, Kristin Zdanczewicz, will amp up the intensity in the backrow. Mel Denham solidifies the forward pack at number eight.
Kim Magrini, as scrumhalf, will work to distribute clean ball to flyhalf, Christy Ringgenberg. Nathalie Marchino joins Vanesha McGee, who showed great pace against Ireland in a late USA rally, on the wing. Lynelle Kugler will move in one spot to inside center to team up with Amy Daniels at outside. Ashley English completes the roster as team captain and full back.
A change to the overall squad due to injury has also been confirmed as Ashley Kmiecik suffered multiple facial fractures during match play against Kazakhstan. Reserve player, Hannah Stolba, has been called up to provide assistance throughout the tournament.
USA versus England is scheduled to kick off at 6:30 GMT and will be broadcast nation wide at 10 p.m. EST via Universal Sports (http://www.universalsports.com/tv-listings/Universal_Sports_on_TV.html) and streamed online at http://www.rwcwomens.com/video/index.html.
Match updates will also be provided via Twitter (@USAEaglesRugby) and the Official USA Rugby Fan Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Official-USA-Rugby-Fan-Page/341122858139.
USA v IRELAND
1 FARRAH DOUGLAS – At Large
2 LISA BUTTS – Berkeley All-Blues
3 JAMIE BURKE - Beantown
4 BLAIRE GROEFSEMA – Berkeley All-Blues
5 SHARON BLANEY - Beantown
6 PHAIDRA KNIGHT – New York
7 KRISTIN ZDANCZEWICZ – Minnesota Valkyries
8 MELANIE DENHAM - Beantown
9 KIM MAGRINI - Keystone
10 CHRISTY RINGGENBERG – Minnesota Valkyries
11 NATHALIE MARCHINO – Berkeley All-Blues
12 LYNELLE KUGLER – Twin Cities Amazons
13 AMY DANIELS – Beantown
14 VANESHA MCGEE – New York
15 ASHLEY ENGLISH – Berkeley All-Blues
16 MAURIN WALLACE - Beantown
17 LARA VIVOLO – New York
18 KITTERY WAGNER - Beantown
19 STACEY BRIDGES – At Large
20 CLAUDIA BRAYMER - Albany
21 MELISSA KANUK – Minnesota Valkyries
22 VICTORIA FOLAYAN – Berkeley All-Blues