BOULDER, Colo. -- The roster to represent the Women’s Eagles at the Nations Cup has been named. Eight changes have been made to the lineup that played against France in June to comprise the current squad.
Five of the additions come to the Women’s Eagles from the Olympic Training Center following the conclusion of the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens. Emilie Bydwell, Deven Owsiany, Jillion Potter, Christy Ringgenberg, and Kimber Rozier will head to Greeley, Colo., from Chula Vista, Calif.
“It’ll be a challenge for them to transition mentalities [from sevens to fifteens], but their skill set is great and that is something we will need in order to compete at the Nations Cup,” said head coach Pete Steinberg.
All of the sevens players will slot into the backline with the exception of Potter, who will play at the eight position. Phoebe Boone, Sylvia Braaten, and Sarah Wilson join Potter, stepping in as forwards additions for the Women’s Eagles.
The changes to the roster are based off of finding the right lineup in heading to the 2014 Rugby World Cup, giving different players a chance to showcase their abilities.
“This is an opportunity for new players to show what they can add on the field and how they fit in off the field,” said Steinberg of the alterations made to the roster. “There are a number of players not selected to the Nations Cup that are still a main focus for the World Cup team, but this is a chance for new players to showcase what they can do.”
Team culture has been another key point for Steinberg in preparing his squad for the upcoming World Cup.
With the majority of players having gained caps earlier in the year, Steinberg hopes that the Nations Cup tournament serves as a sample-World Cup of sorts and a place for the team to bond off the field.
“We built a great foundation for the team culture when we played against France and now we can really grow on that with these matches,” said Steinberg. “With the schedule resembling a World Cup schedule, it helps us in setting player expectations and how we need to handle ourselves on and off the field at a major competition.”
Boone and Owsiany are looking for their first caps with the Women’s Eagles. At the other end, Jamie Burke is in search of her 39th cap, the most in team history.
A former captain, Potter returns to the fifteens lineup for the first time since 2010, having been injured just prior to that year’s World Cup.
At the Nations Cup, the Women’s Eagles will play four matches in total. First on the slate is northern-foe Canada, followed by South Africa and England.
The final match will serve as a placing match.
Greeley and the University of Northern Colorado serve as hosts to the tournament. The placing matches will take place in Glendale, Colo., at Infinity Park.
All matches for the Women’s Eagles are scheduled to kickoff at 6:00 P.M. MT.
The Eagles have finished third in the previous two Nations Cup meetings.
The Women’s Eagles head into the Nations Cup after a three-test series with France, in which the team went 1-2. The Eagles fell to Les Bleus in the final two matches, 27-25 and 18-12, respectively.
The Women’s Eagles won the opening match of that series 13-10.
All matches at the Nations Cup will be live-streamed. For the first three match days in Greeley, the six matches can be watched online on USA Rugby TV. The Finals Day matches will be streamed on the Glendale Raptors website.
Women's Eagles | Nations Cup | Greeley, Colo.