Paar to captain Eagles against Women's Rugby Super Series host
CALGARY, Alberta - From first cap to first captaincy, Jane Paar, in her second international test, has been tabbed to lead the Women's Eagles against Canada. Making her debut versus England, the outside center will look for the U.S. to rebound in the Women's Rugby Super Series Wednesday.
"It was such a surprise for me because I am so new into the 15s program," said Paar. "I hope I can provide the leadership and support my teammates expect."
Paar comes to the Eagles from the Olympic Training Center and the Women's Eagles Sevens.
"Sevens has been immensely helpful in being able to train every day and work on my rugby, playing year 'round with the highest caliber players and coaches," said Paar. "My training and experience in the Marine Corps has also helped me prepare."
Kickoff against Canada is set for 6:30 p.m. MT at Red Deer Rugby Club.
After falling to World Cup champion England, 39-13, the youthful Eagles are preparing to unseat the World Cup runner-up Maple Leafs to move to 1-1 in the Super Series.
"Canada did really well against New Zealand," Head Coach Pete Steinberg said. "They showed that even though they, too, have a young squad, it was not a fluke that they made it to the World Cup Final. They have a great style of play and it will be a challenge to stop their attack."
Following the defensive struggles against England and to counter the strong attack expected from the Maple Leafs, defense received the most attention during Eagles training.
"The U.S. is traditionally a strong defensive team and we saw glimpses of that in the first match, but there were a few areas that needed some attention this week," said Steinberg. "We spent some time getting connected defensively and we hope to see that growth in this next match."
To compensate for three matches over the course of the week, several changes have been made to the Eagles lineup named against Canada.
"Three matches in a week is really tough so we need to be able to rotate players," said Steinberg. "We have some bumps and bruises that have helped us make decisions, plus we want to give some players a chance to show how they can play at the international level."
Seven changes have been made to the roster that faced England.
While 13 players received their first caps against the Roses, three will get the opportunity against Canada.
Jojo Kitlinsky gets the nod at flanker for her first cap, while Tiffany Faaee and Bianca Dalal are listed as reserves.
While there are several lineup changes for the Eagles, expectations for improvement in execution remain the same.
"We want to be able to continue to build our attacking philosophy and in particular turn breaks into tries," said Steinberg. "We had eight line breaks in the last game, which is very good, but only one led to a try."
Canada lost its opening match to New Zealand, 40-22.
Against the Eagles, however, Canada claimed the previous two meetings, winning 51-7 and 13-10 during the 2013 cross-country series. Both matches were played in Canada.
Women's Eagles | v. Canada
1. Catherine Benson
2. Kathryn Augustyn
3. Hope Rogers
4. Stacey Bridges
5. Molly Kinsella
6. Joanna Kitlinski
7. Elizabeth Cairns
8. Jordan Gray
9. Deven Owsiany
10. Lauren Rhode
11. Cheta Emba
12. Kimberly Rozier
13. Jane Paar (C)
14. Kelsi Stockert
15. Jessica Wooden
Canada | v. USA
1. Laura Russell (C)
2. Mary-Jane Kirby
3. Olivia DeMerchant
4. Tyson Beukeboom
5. Maria Samson
6. Barbara Mervin
7. Latoya Blackwood
8. Cindy Nelles
9. Lori Josephson
10. Alex Tessier
11. Lisa Gauthier
12. Andrea Burk
13. Amanda Thornborough
14. Katie McNally
15. Julianne Zussman
Canada | Reserves
16. Tiffany Picketts
17. Julia Folk
18. DaLeaka Menin
19. Camille Provencal-Aube
20. Jacey Murphy
21. Gillian Allen
22. Jess Neilson
23. Natasha Smith
Women's Eagles | Women's Rugby Super Series
v. England - L 39-13
v. Canada - Wednesday, July 1 - 6:30 p.m. MT
v. New Zealand - Sunday, July 5 - 4 p.m. MT