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Disclaimer: Phaidra Knight is a current Eagle training at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. She has represented the US as both a sevens and fifteens player since 1999. She can be contacted at [email protected]
After an impressive second place finish in Atlanta 7s, Team USA looks to continue their quest to Olympic qualification as they ready for the fourth stop on the Women’s Sevens World Series Circuit at Canada Women’s Sevens in Langford, British Columbia, April 18-19.
Coach Ric Suggitt made two roster changes, returning both Melissa Fowler and Irene Gardner to the lineup. Gardner has not appeared with the Eagles since the Atlanta round of the 2013-2014 series.
“Irene’s been with us for the last three camps and she’s a very intelligent rugby player,” Suggitt said. He praises her for her incredible work rate on the field and her positive attitude off the field. “We have a great combination moving Irene into the hooker position to work in tandem with Kelly Griffin.”
The tournament will be played at Westhills Stadium. The Eagles will face rival neighbors and second ranked Canada in pool play. Canada shut out the U.S., 36-0, in their sole meeting this season at the Emirate Dubai Rugby Sevens Cup Quarterfinal. The Eagles will also meet South Africa for the second time and Russia for the fifth time this season. Team USA has an undefeated record versus both squads for 2014-2015.
“We have tough teams,” Suggitt said of their pool opponents. “It’s going to be a battle in all three games. The girls have done a really good job breaking down the game film and going through it every morning before training. We hope to be on top of our game and put it together even better than the last tournament, which is always our goal. We’re battling for a top two spot on day one and a top four spot on day two.”
The Eagles moved within two points of fourth place in their performance at Atlanta 7s.
Canada Women’s 7s will stream live on World Rugby’s website. Follow @USARugby on Twitter for US match updates.
Women’s Eagles For Canada Women’s Sevens
- Kathryn Johnson
- Kelly Griffin
- Megan Bonny
- Alev Kelter
- Akalaini (Bui) Baravilala
- Lauren Doyle
- Victoria Folayan
- Joanne Fa’avesi
- Irene Gardner
- Melissa Fowler
- Kate Zachary
- Kristen Thomas
Women’s Eagles Coaching Staff
Ric Suggitt, Head Coach
Richie Walker, Assistant Coach
JoAnne Kos, Team Manager
Dr. Lisa Bartoli, Team Physician
Nicole Titmas, Physiotherapist
Women’s Eagles Saturday, April 18 Schedule
v South Africa – 3:28 p.m. ET
v Russia – 6:28 p.m. ET
v Canada – 9:50 p.m. ET