Chobot to lead Eagles against England in Women’s Rugby Super Series

CALGARY, Alberta - Saturday kicks off Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 preparations for the Women's Eagles as Pete Steinberg's team begins its two-year journey with a three-match Women's Rugby Super series against arguably the strongest competition in international women's rugby.

First up for the Eagles is World Cup Champion England.

A youthful Eagles side has been selected for the first match against the Roses, while five World Cup veterans will help lead the team through the level-setting match. Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. MT at Calgary Rugby Park, with live streaming available from Rugby Canada.

"It's a great way to start our campaign to Ireland 2017," Steinberg said. "We know it is going to be tough with our young team, but we are very athletic and excited to see what we can do against the best.

See Women's Rugby Super Series tour roster >>

"We are going to learn a lot about our players at this level - how they compete, how they handle the ups and downs. We are also going to be looking for a new set of leaders."

Most notably, the Eagles will be without Jamie Burke, Kate Daley, and Shaina Turley, the team's captains throughout the previous World Cup cycle.

Filling the role for Saturday's match against England will be Sarah Chobot, who is set to captain an Eagles lineup with 13 potential first caps.

"It's one of the biggest honors in my life to captain this side," said the veteran prop of Glendale Raptors RFC. "I'm very excited about the quality and youth of this group."

Eight players in the starting XV will earn their first cap.

"This is an amazing opportunity that would not have been possible without the support from Marine and rugby mentors throughout the years," said outside center Jane Paar of her first cap opportunity. "I'm very excited to build upon the traditions set by the Eagles before me."

While England was able to capture the coveted World Cup trophy in August, it, too, is experimenting with younger talent.

"They are about six months ahead of us with their new players being capped during the [RBS 6 Nations], but we believe we have players that can compete," said Steinberg. "We really want to put England under pressure and we think that we have the lineup to do just that."

While Saturday's match will be the Eagles' first contest since the previous World Cup, England enters after a fourth-place showing in the RBS 6 Nations competition held in March.

Following Saturday's match, the Eagles will take on host Canada before closing out the Super Series against New Zealand.

"All three of these teams are tough," Steinberg said. "The timing is not perfect, but we could not miss the opportunity to play against the best."

Despite the difficult competition, an aura is building around the team.

"There is so much enthusiasm," Steinberg said. "Coaches are seamlessly fitting into their roles and players are really receptive and eager to grow."

An uncapped England side claimed the last meeting between the two squads, 17-13. The match took place during the team's U.K. Tour in June on the way to the World Cup in France.

Prior to last year, both sides met during the 2013 Nations Cup, hosted in Colorado. England defeated the Eagles, 36-21.

In total, England has a 13-1 series lead against the Eagles, having claimed the last 13 meetings. The lone U.S. victory came during the 1991 World Cup, 19-6.

For in-depth coverage of the Super Series from a player's perspective, follow the Eagles on Facebook and Twitter. During the match, live updates will be provided by @USARugby on Twitter.

Women's Eagles | v. England

1. Sarah Chobot (C)

2. Kathryn Augustyn

3. Hope Rogers

4. Stacey Bridges

5. Alycia Washington

6. Laura Miller

7. Elizabeth Cairns

8. Jordan Gray

9. Deven Owsiany

10. Kimberly Rozier

11. Cheta Emba

12. Jennifer Sever

13. Jane Paar

14. Kelsi Stockert

15. Jessica Wooden

Women's Eagles | Reserves

16. Samantha Pankey

17. Baylee Annis

18. Catherine Benson

19. Molly Kinsella

20. Sara Parsons

21. Jennifer Lui

22. Lauren Rhode

23. Nicole Heavirland

England | v. USA

1. Vicky Cornborough

2. Amy Cokayne

3. Laura Keates

4. Rowena Burnfield

5. Abbie Scott

6. Hannah Gallagher

7. Marlie Packer

8. Sarah Hunter (C)

9. Bianca Blackburn

10. Emily Scott

11. Katie Mason

12. Ceri Large

13. Amber Reed

14. Kay Wilson

15. Sarah McKenna

England | Reserves

16. Rochelle Clark

17. Lark Davies

18. Justine Lucas

19. Tamara Taylor

20. Alexandra Matthews

21. Leanne Riley

22. Emily Scarratt

23. Rachel Lund

Women's Eagles | Women's Rugby Super Series

v. England - Saturday, June 27 - 4 p.m. MT

v. Canada - Wednesday, July 1 - 6:30 p.m. MT

v. New Zealand - Sunday, July 5 - 4 p.m. MT