Baravilala to earn first cap in Eagles’ UK Tour opener against Wales

BRIDGEND, Wales – An undefeated record is on the table for the Women’s Eagles Saturday against Wales. The two meet for the first time since 2001 in what is being utilized as a preparatory match for the IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014.

A 3-0 record against the Welsh will be tested starting at 1:30 P.M. (8:30 A.M. ET) at Cross Keys RFC, Paddy Park. The match will be the first match of three during the UK Tour.

“We have continued to shape and grow the team over the past few years and we are now looking at fielding the best in these competitions,” said Shaina Turley, who will captain the Eagles against Wales.

While combinations and performance will be a key during the UK Tour, winning is also a high priority.

“We are seeing what combinations work best during this tour, but we are playing to win,” said head coach Pete Steinberg.

A notable combination change comes with Sadie Anderson lining up as a wing, while Bui Baravilala slots in at fullback.

Baravilala will also be earning her first cap with the start.

Eagles v Wales Game Notes >>

“Wales will test us and I think it will be a great challenge for the combinations that we are putting out there,” said Steinberg. “They are a dynamic team and got better with every match in the Six Nations competition.”

The young Welsh side finished fifth in the RBS Six Nations competition with one win. Wales was able to blank Scotland, 25-0, in the final competition in March.

“I don’t think [Wales’] record reflects the level that they are able to perform to,” said Steinberg. “I expect they will be physical and able to challenge us in the open field.”

Saturday’s matchup will be the fourth meeting between USA and Wales, the first since 2001. The Eagles claimed the most recent match, 20-17. The match was the lone friendly of the series as well as the only match contested in Wales.

Prior matches of the series in 1993 and 1994 were contested in Canada and Scotland, respectively.

In 1993, USA opened the series in dominant fashion, shutting out Wales, 26-0, during the Canada Cup. The following year, the Eagles built on the performance, winning 56-15 in the World Cup.

Overall, the Eagles hold a 5-0 record for matches played in Wales. In addition to the victory over Wales, USA won all four matches during the 1991 World Cup, which was hosted in Cardiff.

Following the match at Cross Keys RFC, USA will head to England for two matches against the Roses.

The match against Wales will not be streamed. For live game updates, follow the Eagles on Twitter (@USARugby).

Women's Eagles | v Wales
1. Sarah Chobot
2. Kathryn Augustyn
3. Jamie Burke
4. Carmen Farmer
5. Sarah Walsh
6. Shaina Turley (C)
7. Lynelle Kugler
8. Kate Daley
9. Jocelyn Tseng
10. Kimberly Rozier
11. Vanesha McGee
12. Emilie Bydwell
13. Meya Bizer
14. Sadie Anderson
15. Akalaini "Bui" Baravilala

Women's Eagles | Reserves
16. Kittery Wagner
17. Hope Rogers
18. Naima Reddick
19. Lauren Daly
20. Jillion Potter
21. Hannah Stolba
22. Sylvia Braaten
23. Deven Owsiany

Wales | Starting XV
1. Caryl Thomas
2. Lowri Harries
3. Catrin Edwards
4. Jenny Hawkins
5. Rachel Taylor (C)
6. Catrina Nicholas
7. Nia Davies
8. Sioned Harries
9. Sian Moore
10. Elinor Snowsill
11. Dyddgu Hywel
12. Rebecca de Filippo
13. Elen Evans
14. Adi Taviner
15. Laurie Harries

Wales | Reserves
16. Carys Phillips
17. Megan York
18. Cerys Hale
19. Shona Powell Hughes
20. Sian Williams
21. Robyn Wilkins
22. Rafluke Taylor
23. Philippa Tuttlett

Women's Eagles | UK Tour
v Wales - June 28
v England (non-test) - July 2
v England - July 6