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LONDON, ENG. - Head Coach Rob Cain has named his match-day 23 to face England’s Red Roses this Friday, Nov. 9 at 2:45 PM ET, LIVE on FloRugby.
The full roster will feature five changes made to the starting XV with four new faces in as reserves and up to three new caps to be awarded overall.
Jumping in at hooker for Katy Augustyn is Joanna Kitlinski who joins the group after being activated as an injury reserve for Eti Haungatau. Kitlinski and the forward pack are supported by prop Megan Rom who suits up for Azniv Nalbandian after earning her first cap last week.
The backs are highlighted by Anna Karen Pedraza who receives the start at scrumhalf and Sarah Levy who debuts at the wing. With Levy in at wing, Kaitlyn Broughton will shift to the fullback position for Meya Bizer.
Changes to the starting XV are rounded up with McKenzie Hawkins moving into center for Kimber Rozier, while the reserves see four adjustments to last week.
Among them are Jennine Duncan and Melissa Finkelstein who have the opportunity to make their own debuts. Capped Women’s Eagles Kristine Sommer and Megan Foster may appear as well for the first time this November.
“We are excited by the challenge that England presents us,” said Head Coach Rob Cain. “They are ranked second in the world and it’s going to be another great experience for us as a group . They will pose lots of different problems for us to solve with their accuracy and it will be up to us to control the space battle and create the pictures we want to see on the pitch.”
The Women’s National Team last faced England at Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 where the United States fell to the Red Roses before sealing their place in the Semifinals.
England will play their first match of the November Internationals against the USA, marking the last time they took the pitch as their 33-11 victory over Ireland in the NatWest 6 Nations this year.
Though they suffered a tough loss to the first-ranked Black Ferns in Chicago last weekend, the Eagles saw 13 players earn their first cap on home soil. As the program continues to shape its future, emphasizing more opportunities for emerging domestic athletes in the lead-up to Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021, the matchup this Friday will be another critical step in that venture.
Both teams will be anxious to take the field once more as Head Coach Rob Cain leads his first test match on the road and the Red Roses return for the first time in eight months.
U.S. Women’s National Team Starting Roster
Player / Position / Club / Caps
1) Megan Rom / Prop / Life University / 1
2) Joanna Kitlinski / Hooker / Glendale Merlins / 7
3) Catie Benson / Prop / Life West Gladiatrix / 15
4) Stacey Bridges / Lock / Beantown Rugby / 34
5) Alycia Washington / Lock / New York Rugby / 15
6) Rachel Johnson / Flanker / Oregon Sports Rugby / 1
7) Kate Zackary (C) / Flanker / San Diego Surfers / 7
8) Jordan Gray-Matyas / No. 8 / Eagles 7s / 16
9) Anna Karen Pedraza / Scrumhalf / Lindenwood University / 2
10) Gabby Cantorna / Flyhalf / Glendale Merlins / 1
11) Sarah Levy* / Wing / New York Rugby / 0
12) McKenzie Hawkins / Center / Lindenwood University / 1
13) Emily Henrich / Center / Dartmouth College / 1
14) Kelsi Stockert / Wing / Women's Sevens Residency / 6
15) Kaitlyn Broughton / Fullback / Atlanta Harlequins / 1
U.S. Women’s National Team Reserves
Player / Position / Club / Caps
16) Joyce Taufa / Reserve / Lindenwood University / 1
17) Azniv Nalbandian / Reserve / Penn State University / 1
18) Nick James / Reserve / Houston Athletic / 4
19) Melissa Finkelstein* / Reserve / Glendale Merlins / 0
20) Kristine Sommer / Reserve / Harlequins (ENG) / 5
21) Nikki Kenyon / Reserve / Life West Gladiatrix / 1
22) Megan Foster / Reserve / San Diego Surfers / 4
23) Jennine Duncan* / Reserve / Seattle Saracens / 0
U.S. Women's National Team Staff
Head Coach | Rob Cain
Assistant Coach | Richard Ashfield
Assistant Coach | Kate Daley
Assistant Coach & Team Manager | Jamie Burke
Head of Physical Performance | Ian Jones
Head Performance Analyst | David Gardner
Team Doctor | Terrence Cronin
Head Athletic Trainer | Bri Arsenault
Assistant Athletic Trainer | Katherine Henry
U.S. Women's National Team Schedule | November Internationals 2018
vs New Zealand 6-67 (L)
Fri, Nov. 9 | 2:45 PM ET
Allianz Park, London, England
Sun, Nov. 18 | Time TBC
Energia Park, Dublin, Ireland