Under-20 Can-Am Series kicks off Wednesday

BATAVIA, N.Y. – Danielle Miller has selected the USA Rugby AIG Women’s Junior All-Americans’ roster for the first match of the Under-20 Can-Am Series in Ontario Wednesday, Aug. 20.

The WJAAs assembled in Batavia Sunday ahead of Wednesday’s match at London St. George’s Rugby Football Club in London. Despite only having two days to prepare for the first match, Miller is impressed with her team’s work ethic.

“It was a long day of practice yesterday with the athletes learning the foundation of how the WJAA team plays,” the head coach said. “As a credit to them, the practice ended short because they were effective in their learning.

“The players are already able to work together as a team, working the defense and attacking patterns as if they have been working together for years.”

Canadian women’s rugby has seen a surge of successful entries in major competitions recently. The senior side battled England in the IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup Final Sunday in Paris – a 21-9 loss – and the Nanjing 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games team secured its spot in Wednesday’s gold medal match against Australia.

Canada has also held a recent advantage in this matchup, as the WJAAs fell twice to the northern neighbors – in pool play and the Final – in the 2013 IRB U20 Nations Cup in England.

“I look forward to a tough battle from the Canadian U20 side, but these athletes are ready and eager for this challenge,” Miller said.

View full AIG WJAA travel squad

Pennsylvania State University’s Kyla Chipman will captain the squad in London, while Brianna Kim of the University of Virginia will serve as Chipman’s vice captain. Stars and Stripes Camp 2014 attendees Lilly Durbin, McKenzie Hawkins, Mata Hingano, and Maya Learned all make the starting XV, as does 2013 IRB U20 Nations Cup WJAA Gabriella Cantorna.

“This is the first time this group of athletes have been on a team together,” Miller said. “We have a wide range of ages and athletes on this team from players who, in the fall, could be entering their sophomore year of college or sophomore year of high school.

“Due to players’ hard work and initiative, they have been able to communicate and read each others’ moves to all be on the same page.”

Kickoff at London St. George’s Rugby Football Club is scheduled for 6:30 P.M. ET. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased through Rugby Canada. Follow @aarugby on Twitter for live match updates.

AIG Women's Junior All-Americans | v Canada
1. Maya Learned
2. Etta MyLau
3. Abby Ellen Vogel
4. Katie Mueller
5. Melissa Hargadine
6. Frieda Fetuu
7. Gioanna Cruz
8. Kyla Chipman (Field Captain)
9. Brianna Kim (Vice Captain)
10. Gabriella Cantorna
11. Danielle Ordway
12. McKenzie Hawkins
13. Mata Hingano
14. Caitlin "CJ" Whiteside
15. Lilly Durbin

AIG Women's Junior All-Americans | Reserves
16. Elizabeth Groff
17. Hope Wasserman
18. Azniv Nalbandian
19. Hedvig Karlsson
20. Adriana Zeiders
21. Ashley Rolsma
22. Nikki Richardson
23. Ashlee Byrge

USA Rugby AIG Women's Junior All-Americans | Coaching Staff
Danielle Miller - Head Coach
Kelly Seary - Assistant Coach
Wil Snape - Assistant Coach
Mark Smith - Assistant Coach
Katie Wurst - Manager
Bri Arsenault - Trainer

Canada | Starting XV
1. Tiffany Picketts
2. Emly Tuttosi
3. Deleka Menin (C)
4. Dorian Khouri
5. Alexandra Ellis
6. Sasha Elliot
7. Sarah Svoboda
8. Maddy Mackenzie
9. Jess Neilson
10. Alex Tessier
11. Danielle Spice
12. Natalie Lesco
13. Fabiola Forteza
14. Deanna Foster
15. Breanne Nicholas

Canada | Reserves
16. Colleen Irowa
17. Coreen Riley
18. Camille Provencal-Aube
19. Lauren Agnew
20. Katie Svoboda
21. Stephanie Black
22. Caroline Crossley
23. Emma Jada

USA Rugby AIG Women's Junior All-Americans | Under-20 Women's Can-Am Series
v Canada - Wednesday, August 20 @ 6:30 P.M. ET - St. George's Rugby Football Club, London
v Canada - Saturday, August 23 @ 7:00 P.M. ET - Norm Perry Park, Sarnia