Women's Selects named for battle with England Academy

LONDON, ENG. – The USA Women’s Selects (15s) have been named for a developmental game with England Academy Tuesday, Nov 13 at 2:30 PM ET at Newbury RFC in England.

The Selects will be led by Senior Women’s Eagles Head Coach Rob Cain in a game designed to boost preparation ahead of the Women’s National Team’s test match with Ireland Sunday, Nov. 18.

USA players for the developmental game have been selected from the Eagles’ traveling roster for the Autumn Internationals 2018. Veteran Women’s Eagle Katy Augustyn will serve as Captain for the group, which includes several newly capped athletes and four players who have yet to debut for the senior national team.

Among the newcomers are starters Darian Lovelace and Cortney Keuhl, as well as reserves Tiana A’au and Frankie Sands. While all four take the pitch for the first time this November, A’au recently competed against an England side with the Women’s Junior All-Americans’ at the U20 Tri-Nations Cup this summer.

Similarly, 13 players from the match-day 23 suited up last weekend in the USA’s test match against the Red Roses, giving the United States women a good depth of knowledge heading into Wednesday.

The England Academy match will undoubtedly be another challenge for the growing women’s program to overcome, with the value of playing a highly competitive side immeasurable.

Head Coach Rob Cain said: “This is a great opportunity for our players to use this game as a platform for their inclusion in our final test against Ireland this Sunday. The tour has been set at a ferocious pace and it has been great to have the players for 12 days now. Their work rate and attitude have been first class and we are all excited to see them continue to raise the bar from our last match. We know how talented England A will be and it’s a great opportunity to continue to measure our daily improvements as a squad.”

Though the match will not be broadcast live, updates will be available by following @USARugby on Twitter.

USA Women’s Selects Starting Roster

Player Name Position Club
1. Nick James Prop Houston Athletic
2. Katy Augustyn (C) Hooker Berkeley All Blues
3. Melissa Finkelstein Prop Glendale Merlins
4. McKenna Strong Lock Lindenwood University
5. Alycia Washington Lock New York Rugby
6. Joyce Taufa Flanker Lindenwood University
7. Kristine Sommer Flanker Harlequins (ENG) / Seattle Saracens
8. Darian Lovelace No. 8 Atlanta Harlequins
9. Carly Waters Scrumhalf New York Rugby
10. McKenzie Hawkins Flyhalf Lindenwood University
11. Sarah Levy Wing New York Rugby
12. Megan Foster Center San Diego Surfers
13. Cortney Kuehl Center Atlanta Harlequins
14. Evan Hoese Wing Berkeley All Blues
15. Jennine Duncan Fullback Seattle Saracens


USA Women’s Selects Reserves

Player Name Position Club
16. Joanna Kitlinski Reserve Glendale Merlins
17. Azniv Nalbandian Reserve Penn State University
18. Tiana A’au Reserve Central Washington University
19. Anna Karen Pedraza Reserve Lindenwood University
20. Meya Bizer Reserve Women’s Sevens Residency
21. Kimber Rozier Reserve Beantown Rugby
22. Kelsi Stockert Reserve Women’s Sevens Residency
23. Frankie Sands Reserve Northumbria / Darlington Rugby (ENG)


USA Women’s Selects 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