GUILDFORD, UK – The U.S. Women’s National Team has been presented with an opportunity for redemption in a rematch against the Irish at Surrey Sports Park. Momentum gained from their last pool play match will bring them one step closer to a 5th place finish in the Women’s Rugby World Cup. Results of this test will dictate their next opponent, depending on the outcome of the Canada versus Scotland, and will also impact the final tournament rankings.
The U.S. met Ireland in the second round of pool play and came away with a disappointing 22-12 loss. Commitment to the task and self-reflection resulted in a much stronger performance against England as the Eagles managed to score the only points against the tournament leaders in their nationally broadcast Pool B closing match with a final score of 37-10. The Irish drew Kazakhstan as their final pool play opponent and defeated them with little trouble by posting a 37-3 result.
“We are excited to have a second chance against Ireland. We have reviewed film, recognized our mistakes, and are looking forward to capitalizing on the corrections we were able to make against England,” said head coach, Kathy Flores.
The front row will relish another opportunity to test the Irish scrum with Farrah Douglas returning at loosehead prop and Mari Wallace back at hooker. Lara Vivolo will join them with fresh legs at tighthead prop.
Blaire Groefsema and Sharon Blaney will team up once more to provide resolute strength in the second row. Blindside flanker, Kristin Zdanczewicz, will launch from the back row with assistance from openside, Beckett Royce, and Mel Denham at number eight.
Scrumhalf Kim Magrini will push the tempo alongside Christy Ringgenberg at flyhalf, while Nathalie Marchino and Vix Folayan cover the wings. Emilie Bydwell will handle the inside center position with support from Amy Daniels at outside. Ashley English completes the back triangle at fullback.
"It's not often in rugby that we get the chance to play an international squad again so soon. We are looking forward to the rematch against Ireland. We'll be focusing on cleaning up our penalties around the breakdown, while still playing aggressive, physical defense. On offense, we'll look to maintain possession of the ball in contact, and getting the ball into the try zone," said team captain, English.
USA versus Ireland will take place at 4:30 p.m. GMT on the main pitch at Surrey Sports Park to account for the high volume of supporters from both nations.
Match updates will 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 MAURIN WALLACE – BERKELEY ALL-BLUES
3 LARA VIVOLO – NEW YORK
4 BLAIRE GROEFSEMA - BERKELEY ALL-BLUES
5 SHARON BLANEY - BEANTOWN
6 KRISTIN ZDANCZEWICZ – MINNESOTA VALKYRIES
7 BECKETT ROYCE - ORSU
8 MELANIE DENHAM - BEANTOWN
9 KIM MAGRINI - KEYSTONE
10 CHRISTY RINGGENBERG – MINNESOTA VALKYRIES
11 NATHALIE MARCHINO – BERKELEY ALL-BLUES
12 EMILIE BYDWELL - BEANTOWN
13 AMY DANIELS - BEANTOWN
14 VICOTIRA FOLAYAN – BERKELEY ALL-BLUES
15 ASHLEY ENGLISH – BERKELEY ALL-BLUES
16 LISA BUTTS – BERKELEY ALL-BLUES
17 NAIMA REDDICK – BERKELEY ALL-BLUES
18 STACEY BRIDGES – AT LARGE
19 PHAIDRA KNIGHT – NEW YORK
20 CLAUDIA BRAYMER - ALBANY
21 MELISSA KANUK – MINNESOTA VALKYRIES
22 VANESHA MCGEE – NEW YORK