United States women's national rugby union team

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.

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
Current7 (as of 9 January 2023)
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 16 January 2023[1]
Rank Change* Team Points
1 Steady  England 094.29
2 Steady  New Zealand 093.19
3 Steady  France 089.68
4 Steady  Canada 084.22
5 Steady  Italy 078.70
6 Steady  Australia 078.00
7 Steady  United States 076.78
8 Steady  Ireland 074.01
9 Steady  Wales 072.70
10 Steady  Scotland 068.71
11 Steady  Spain 068.47
12 Steady  Japan 067.94
13 Steady  South Africa 064.50
14 Steady  Russia 061.10
15 Increase4  Hong Kong 059.25
16 Steady  Fiji 058.33
17 Steady  Netherlands 058.27
18 Steady  Samoa 058.01
19 Increase1  Sweden 057.73
20 Decrease5  Kazakhstan 057.09
*Change from the previous week

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]

HistoryEdit

(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–1997Edit

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.

PresentEdit

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.

RecordEdit

OverallEdit

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

Full internationals only

Correct as of 09 October 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 3 2 0 1 66.6%
  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 CupEdit

Rugby World Cup
Year Round Pld W D L PF PA Squad
  1991 Champions 4 4 0 0 79 6 Squad
  1994 Runners-up 5 4 0 1 387 53 Squad
  1998 Runners-up 5 4 0 1 200 76 Squad
  2002 7th place 4 2 0 2 124 43 Squad
  2006 5th place 5 4 0 1 87 47 Squad
  2010 5th place 5 3 0 2 136 82 Squad
  2014 6th place 5 2 0 3 95 139 Squad
  2017 4th place 5 2 0 3 128 135 Squad
  2021 Quarter-final 4 1 0 3 65 100 Squad
  2025 TBD
  2029
  2033 Automatically Qualified as Hosts
Total Champions 42 26 0 16 1301 681 Squad
  Champion   Runner-up   Third place   Fourth place
* Tied placing Best placing Home venue

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

The United States named their final 32-player squad on the 16 September 2022, for the 2021 Rugby World Cup. Alycia Washington, Rachel Ehrecke, Bulou Mataitoga and Saher Hamdan were named as non-travelling reserves.[5]

Player Position Caps Club/Province
Alev Kelter Fullback 16 Saracens
Bridget Kahele Scrumhalf 2 Beantown RFC
Carly Waters Scrumhalf 10 Sale Sharks
Catie Benson Prop 28 Sale Sharks
Charli Jacoby Prop 12 Exeter Chiefs
Charlotte Clapp Wing 3 Saracens
Elizabeth Cairns Back Row 18 Life West Gladiatrix
Erica Jarrell Prop 0 Beantown RFC
Eti Haungatau Centre 4 Lindenwood University
Evelyn Ashenbrucker Lock 4 San Diego Surfers
Gabby Cantorna Fly-Half 13 Exeter Chiefs
Georgie Perris-Redding Back Row 3 Sale Sharks
Hallie Taufo'ou Lock 7 Loughborough Lightning
Hope Rogers Prop 36 Exeter Chiefs
Jennine Detiveaux Wing 11 Exeter Chiefs
Jenny Kronish Lock 4 Harlequins
Jett Hayward Hooker 0 Life West Gladiatrix
Joanna Kitlinksi Hooker 19 Sale Sharks
Jordan Matyas Lock 21 USA Sevens
Katana Howard Centre 11 Sale Sharks
Kate Zackary (c) Back Row 22 Exeter Chiefs
Kathryn Johnson Back Row 6 Twin Cities Amazons
Kathryn Treder Hooker 5 Beantown RFC
Kristine Sommer Lock 19 Seattle Rugby Club
Maya Learned Prop 7 Gloucester-Hartpury RFC
McKenzie Hawkins Fly-Half 8 Life West Gladiatrix
Megan Foster Fly-Half 9 Exeter Chiefs
Meya Bizer Fullback 21 Beantown RFC
Nick James Prop 20 Sale Sharks
Olivia Ortiz Scrumhalf 11 Colorado Gray Wolves
Rachel Johnson Back Row 13 Exeter Chiefs
Tess Feury Fullback 11 Wasps

Previous squadsEdit

Notable playersEdit

Two former Eagles have been inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame: Patty Jervey and Phaidra Knight.

Patty Jervey was inducted in 2014. She was the first player to play in five Women's Rugby World Cups. She won the inaugural tournament in 1991 and appeared in the 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006 editions. She made her Eagles debut in 1989 and has won 40 caps, and scored 178 points.[6][7]

Phaidra Knight was inducted in 2017. She has been capped 35 times for the Eagles and has appeared at three Women's Rugby World Cups – 2002, 2006 and 2010. She was named USA Rugby Player of the Decade in 2010. Knight also represented the USA Women's Sevens, from 2006 to 2009.[8][9]

CoachesEdit

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 alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Women's World Rankings". World Rugby. Retrieved 16 January 2023.
  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. ^ "USA Women's Eagles Rugby World Cup roster named as the official countdown to New Zealand begins | Latest Rugby News | USA Eagles". Retrieved 2022-09-16.
  6. ^ "Harlequin Patty Jervey Inducted into IRB Hall of Fame". AHWRFC. 2014-11-14. Retrieved 2022-06-29.
  7. ^ "Jervey: WRWC 1991 was "an experience of a lifetime"". www.rugbyworldcup.com. 2017-04-14. Retrieved 2022-06-29.
  8. ^ Zeigler, Cyd (2017-11-14). "Phaidra Knight is second American athlete inducted into World Rugby Hall of Fame". Outsports. Retrieved 2022-06-29.
  9. ^ Pengelly, Martin (2017-11-04). "Meet Phaidra Knight: free radical flanker in World Rugby Hall of Fame". the Guardian. Retrieved 2022-06-29.

External linksEdit