Women's Eagles 2019 Performance Squad announced

CHULA VISTA, CA. – 38 athletes have been named to the new Women’s Eagles (15s) 2019 Performance Squad, USA Rugby announced today.

The Performance Squad serves as the top tier of a new player pool structure, to be announced at the beginning of each year and remain equivalent in status across both the Women’s and Men’s Eagles (15s) sides. Both programs will include an Extended Squad within their player pool — which sits junior to the top tier — while the Women’s National Team will also have a third tier called the Watchlist.

Players who sit in the Extended Squad and Watchlist represent athletes who show potential to reach the main Women’s Performance tier over time. Each of the three groups within the player pool will receive attention and support from Women’s High Performance with accountability and resources most heavily attributed to the top Performance tier.

Additionally, to give athletes more opportunities to compete internationally, Women’s High Performance will integrate its sevens and fifteens programs by allowing Women’s Sevens players a chance to be selected for fifteens competitions. Athletes in the Women’s Sevens Residency Program will be considered an extension of the Women’s Eagles Performance Squad, with the goal of helping players cross into the fifteens program earlier in the 2021 World Cup cycle.

As a core piece in the new Road to 2021 Campaign for the Women’s National Team, the tiered structure provides athletes with much-needed transparency on where they stand within the larger setup of the program.

[su_attention url=”http://usarug.by/W15to2021″ text=”View the Women’s Eagles Road to 2021 Campaign”]

The Women’s Eagles 2019 Performance Squad features 21 forwards and 17 backs with 10 players still seeking their first cap.

General Manager for Women’s High Performance, Emilie Bydwell said: “Rob and staff have worked hard to create the necessary depth charts for the Women’s 15s program at the senior and age-grade levels. These have allowed us to form critical tiers within our playing group and better understand what our current playing group looks like now, versus what it could look like in two and a half years at Rugby World Cup. Announcing and supporting a Performance Squad annually will increase transparency, clarity and inter-competition allow us to best maximize our support structures and resources. Having a clear vision on how each tier of our senior player pool, age-grade groups and sevens residents interact, operate and continue to develop is critical. Developing a fully functional ecosystem that encompasses all of these layers has been a real priority for us.”

Women’s Eagles Head Coach Rob Cain said: “This announcement shows exciting times for the Women’s 15s Program with many more announcements to follow. This continues to show our determination in demonstrating how clear, transparent and supportive we are with our approach as a program. Through our tiered player pools and yearly calendar, we give everyone an equal opportunity with lots of platforms to pursue their dream of being an Eagle.

This inner competition and accountability will really allow the players to not only drive their playing ambitions but also keep everything contextual; allowing them to showcase themselves on a regular basis in the environment we create.”

For more information about the Women’s National Team’s Road to 2021 Campaign, visit usarug.by/W15to2021.

To support the Women’s Eagles in their endeavor to represent the United States at Rugby World Cup New Zealand 2021, click here.

Women’s Eagles 2019 Performance Squad

Player Name Position Club Caps
Sui Aa’u Center Central Washington University 0
Tiana Aa’u Prop Central Washington University 1
Tiara Aa’u Prop Central Washington University 0
Katy Augustyn Hooker Berkeley All Blues 33
Bui Baravilala Center Berkeley All Blues 6
Catie Benson Prop Life West Gladiatrix 17
Stacey Bridges Second Row Beantown Rugby 36
Kaitlyn Broughton Back Three Atlanta Harlequins 3
Bitsy Cairns Back Row Life West Gladiatrix 8
Gabby Cantorna Flyhalf Glendale Merlins 3
Jennine Duncan Back Three Seattle Saracens 2
Megan Foster Fullback San Diego Surfers 5
Misha Green Back Row New York Rugby 0
McKenzie Hawkins Flyhalf Lindenwood University 3
Emily Henrich Center Dartmouth College 2
Evan Hoese Wing Berkeley All Blues 1
Katana Howard Flyhalf Twin City Amazons 0
Nick James Prop Houston Athletic 6
Bailey Johnson Second Row Twin City Amazons 0
Katie Johnson Back Row Twin City Amazons 0
Rachel Johnson Back Row Oregon Sports Union 3
Joanna Kitlinski Hooker Glendale Merlins 8
Cortney Kuehl Center Atlanta Harlequins 0
Bulou Mataitoga Fullback Berkeley All Blues 0
Azniv Nalbandian Prop Penn State University 3
Mary Jane Pasioles Halfback Central Washington University 0
Christiane Pheil Back Row Atlanta Harlequins 8
Kat Ramage Half Back Dartmouth College 0
Megan Rom Prop Life University 2
Kimber Rozier Center Beantown Rugby 30
Kristine Sommer Second Row Harlequins / Seattle Saracens 7
Kelsi Stockert Back Three Unattached 8
McKenna Strong Second Row Lindenwood University 1
Finau Tamaivena No 8 Seattle Saracens 1
Joyce Taufa Hooker Lindenwood University 3
Alycia Washington Second Row New York Rugby 17
Carly Waters Halfback New York Rugby 2
Kate Zackary (C) Back Row San Diego Surfers 9

Women’s Eagles Staff

General Manager of Women’s HP | Emilie Bydwell
Head Coach | Rob Cain
Assistant Coach | Richard Ashfield
Assistant Coach | Kate Daley
Assistant Coach | Jamie Burke
Assistant Coach & Athlete Mentor | Jenny Lui
Head of Physical Performance | Ian Jones
Head Performance Analyst | David Gardner
Head Athletic Trainer | Bri Sparks
Assistant Athletic Trainer | Katherine Henry
Team Doctor | Terrence Cronin
Women’s HP Operations Manager | Liz Strohecker

Women’s Eagles Tiered Player Pool

  • Performance Squad + Women’s Sevens Residency
  • Extended Squad
  • Watch List

Women’s Eagles Age-Grade Pathway

  • High School All-Americans
  • Junior All-Americans
  • Collegiate All-Americans


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