United States women's national rugby union team

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United States
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Eagles
UnionUSA Rugby
Head coachRob Cain
CaptainKate Zackary
Most capsJamie Burke (51)
First colours
Second colours
World Rugby ranking
Current6 (as of 23 November 2020)
First international
 United States 22 – 3 Canada 
(Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 14 November 1987)
Biggest win
 United States 121 – 0 Japan 
(Melrose, Scotland 15 April 1994)
Biggest defeat
 England 89 – 0 United States 
(Worcester, England 21 November 2021)
World Cup
Appearances7 (First in 1991)
Best resultChampions 1991
Top 20 rankings as of 18 April 2022[1]
Rank Change* Team Points
1 Steady  England 096.26
2 Steady  New Zealand 088.58
3 Steady  France 088.43
4 Steady  Canada 088.15
5 Steady  Australia 078.68
6 Steady  United States 076.63
7 Increase1  Ireland 076.00
8 Decrease1  Italy 075.12
9 Steady  Wales 073.63
10 Steady  Scotland 072.72
11 Steady  Spain 072.10
12 Steady  Japan 065.49
13 Steady  South Africa 063.39
14 Steady  Russia 061.10
15 Steady  Samoa 059.72
16 Steady  Kazakhstan 058.45
17 Steady  Netherlands 058.27
18 Steady  Hong Kong 057.89
19 Steady  Sweden 057.73
20 Steady  Germany 057.72
*Change from the previous week

The USA Women's National Team XVs is the senior national team for the United States in the 15-a-side version of rugby. The team was officially formed in 1987 and is nicknamed the Eagles.

An international powerhouse during the 1990s— the Eagles won the inaugural 1991 Women's World Cup and finished second in the two following World Cups in 1994 and 1998. The team finished fourth at the 2017 Rugby World Cup in Ireland.[2]

In May 2018, Rob Cain was appointed full-time Head Coach. Cain joined the Eagles after winning the inaugural Tyrell Premier 15s title in England with Saracens Women.[3]

History[edit]

(Source: US Women's Rugby Foundation)

The history of women's rugby in the United States can be traced back to three teams that existed in 1972 – the Colorado State University Hookers at Fort Collins; the University of Colorado, at Boulder; and the University of Illinois, at Champaign. During the mid-1970s women's teams began to spring up on college campuses across the United States. As those players graduated they went on to set up teams near cities and urban centers. At that time there was only one division for all women's rugby. In 1975 United States Rugby Football Union was formed and contained four territories. At this time the women had their own Board of Directors and followed in parallel USARFU with four territories (East, Midwest, West and Pacific). In 1978 the first Women's National Championships was held. The Chicago Women's Rugby Club in Chicago, Illinois hosted this event. The winner of that championship was Portland, Maine.[citation needed]

1980s–1997[edit]

In 1985 the first semblance of a national team was formed. An ‘invitation-only’ team was put together and made up of, arguably, the top women playing the game at the time. The team was named WIVERN and toured throughout England and France. The team finished the tour undefeated. Many of these players went on to be selected to the 1991 World Cup Team.

In 1987 the USA women's national team was officially born with their first match against the Canadian women's national team. Although the women were not permitted to wear the Eagle logo, this match was sanctioned by Rugby Canada and USA Rugby. USA and Canada began holding an annual match, which became known as the CanAm series. For ten years the Women Eagles went undefeated in this test series.[citation needed]

In 1990 the women's national team, competing under the name ‘USA Presidents 15’, traveled to New Zealand to compete in the historic Women's World Rugby Festival. The WNT posted a record of 3–1 with their only loss coming at the hands of New Zealand. In 1991 the first Women's Rugby World Cup was held in Cardiff, Wales. Coached by Beantown's Kevin O’Brien, a Welshman himself, and Minnesota's Chris Leach, a South African the stage was set for the US women to bring home the Cup. Defeating New Zealand in semi-final play, the USA women advanced to the finals where they defeated England. Also in 1991 the first woman was elected to serve on the USARFU Board of Directors. Jamie Jordan was elected Treasurer for the Board.[citation needed]

In 1997 The U23 women's national team was formed. USA Women's National Team Head Coach Franck Boivert appointed Penn State Coach Peter Steinberg to be Head Coach for the U23 Women's National Team program. At an event in the CanAm Series the US Women's National Team celebrated their 10-year anniversary by cheering on the Women's U23 National Team in their first test against Canada.

Present[edit]

The USA Women's National Team XVs finished fourth at Rugby World Cup 2017 in Ireland which earned them automatic qualification to the next World Cup in New Zealand in 2021. In early 2018, the program hired former Women's National Team player Emilie Bydwell to serve as its General Manager of Women's High Performance.[4] Soon after in May, Rob Cain was appointed full-time Head Coach and has since helped lead the program in a new direction.[3]

The Women's National Team Program fields a number of age-grade and development programs including the High School All-Americans (U18), Under-20s, Collegiate All-Americans and USA Selects. All age-grade and development programs are umbrellaed under the national team program and serve as a feeder to the senior Women's Eagles.

Record[edit]

Overall[edit]

See List of United States women's national rugby union team matches

Full internationals only

Correct as of 22 April 2022

Opponent First game Played Won Drawn Lost Win %
 Australia 1997 5 5 0 0 100.00%
 Canada 1987 41 19 0 21 46.3%
 England 1991 20 1 0 19 5%
 France 1996 13 2 1 10 15.4%
 Ireland 1994 8 5 0 3 62.5%
 Italy 2012 1 1 0 0 100.00%
 Japan 1994 1 1 0 0 100.00%
 Kazakhstan 2010 1 1 0 0 100.00%
 Netherlands 1990 3 3 0 0 100.00%
 New Zealand 1990 13 1 0 12 7.7%
 Russia 1998 1 1 0 0 100.00%
 Scotland 1998 5 4 0 1 80%
 South Africa 2009 5 4 0 1 80%
 Soviet Union 1990 2 2 0 0 100.00%
 Spain 1998 3 3 0 0 100.00%
 Sweden 1994 1 1 0 0 100.00%
 Wales 1993 4 4 0 0 100.00%
Total 1987 127 59 1 67 46.4%

Rugby World Cup[edit]

Rugby World Cup
Year Round Pld W D L PF PA Squad
Wales 1991 Champions 4 4 0 0 79 6 Squad
Scotland 1994 Runners-up 5 4 0 1 387 53 Squad
Netherlands 1998 Runners-up 5 4 0 1 200 76 Squad
Spain 2002 7th place 4 2 0 2 124 43 Squad
Canada 2006 5th place 5 4 0 1 87 47 Squad
England 2010 5th place 5 3 0 2 136 82 Squad
France 2014 6th place 5 2 0 3 95 139 Squad
Republic of Ireland 2017 4th place 5 2 0 3 128 135 Squad
New Zealand 2021
Total Champions 38 25 0 13 1236 581
  Champions    Runners-up    Third place    Fourth place Home venue

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

31-player squad for Autumn International:[5]

*All clubs listed below were current as of October 2021.

Player Name Position Club Caps
Catherine Benson Prop England Sale Sharks 23
Amy Talei Bonte Center United States Life West Gladiatrix 6
Elizabeth Cairns Back Row United States Life West Gladiatrix 11
Kayla Canett Fullback United States USA Sevens 7
Gabby Cantorna Flyhalf / Center England Exeter Chiefs 8
Jennine Detiveaux Wing England Exeter Chiefs 7
Rachel Ehrecke Back Row United States Colorado Gray Wolves uncapped
Joanne Fa'avesi Center United States USA Sevens 2
Tess Feury Fullback United States New York Rugby 6
Megan Foster Flyhalf United States San Diego Surfers 5
Saher Hamdan Hooker United States Life University uncapped
McKenzie Hawkins Fullback United States Colorado Gray Wolves 3
Katana Howard Flyhalf England Sale Sharks 4
Charli Jacoby Prop England Loughborough Lightning 6
Nicole James Prop England Sale Sharks 12
Kathryn Johnson Back Row United States Twin Cities Amazons 7
Rachel Johnson Flanker England Exeter Chiefs 7
Alev Kelter Center United States USA Sevens 13
Kristi Kirshe Wing United States USA Sevens uncapped
Joanna Kitlinski Hooker United States Colorado Gray Wolves 14
Jenny Kronish Lock United States Beantown RFC uncapped
Maya Learned Prop England Gloucester-Hartpury 2
Sarah Levy Wing United States USA Sevens 2
Bulou Mataitoga Wing United States Berkeley All Blues 3
Olivia Ortiz Scrumhalf United States Davenport & Chicago North Shore 5
Hope Rogers Prop United States Life West Gladiatrix 29
Kristine Sommer Second Row / Back Row England Gloucester-Hartpury 13
Hallie Taufo'ou Lock United States Colorado Gray Wolves uncapped
Alycia Washington Lock England Worcester Warriors 22
Carly Waters Scrumhalf England Saracens 4
Kate Zackary Back Row England Exeter Chiefs 15

2021 Schedule & Results

Date Opponent Result Location
November 1, 2021 Canada 9-15 (L) Glendale, CO
November 5, 2021 Canada 13-26 (L) Glendale, CO
November 12, 2021 Ireland 10-20 (L) Dublin, IRE
November 21, 2021 England 89-0 (L) Worcester, UK

For match reports, visit: Schedule & Results

Previous Squads[edit]

Coaches[edit]

Name Years
Kevin O'Brien 1991
Franck Boivert 1994
Martin Gallagher 2002
Kathy Flores 2002–2011
Peter Steinberg 2011–2017
Rob Cain 2018–Present

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Women's World Rankings". World Rugby. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  2. ^ "RWC 2021 Spotlight: USA". www.rugbyworldcup.com. 2020-11-14. Retrieved 2022-05-09.
  3. ^ a b Tabani, Aalina (2018-05-14). "USA Rugby Selects Saracens Women's Rob Cain as Head Coach of Women's National Team". USA Rugby. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  4. ^ "USA Rugby appoints Emilie Bydwell as General Manager of Women's High Performance". USA Rugby. 2017-11-15. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  5. ^ Tabani, Aalina (2021-10-14). "Women's Eagles announce full squad for Autumn Internationals". USA Rugby. Retrieved 2022-04-16.

External links[edit]