USA Rugby announces women’s age-grade player pool

BOULDER, Colo. - USA Rugby announced an age-grade pool of 38 players that were identified at the winter National All-Star Competition in Lakeland, Fla., as well as the various 2015 tours. The age-grade coaches have identified the players they believe have a strong chance to become Eagles and play in World Cups and Olympics. Players in the pool will get developmental resources to accelerate their progression.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for players to get resources that give them the best possible chance of being an Eagle," said Wil Snape, AIG Women's Junior All-American head coach. "We've selected players that have proven drive, talent, and potential. The players have shown these attributes in high performance environments at all-star events and some in full age-grade internationals, and now they will have the necessary support to continue to grow elite-player habits and lifestyle choices."

With 16 players in the Eagle pool that are still eligible for the age-grade programs, this pool has a number of exciting up-and-coming players, including seven still in high school.

The age-grade pool players will have access to the Women's National Team Pathway High Performance support programs including strength and conditioning, mental skills, nutrition, and life skills. The programs will be delivered through the partnership between USA Rugby and BridgeAthletic.

"BridgeAthletic will be an important part of the development for our age-grade programs as they will be providing the resources and education for a high performance lifestyle," said Brandon Sparks, AIG Women's Collegiate All-American Sevens head coach. "In the past, these resources weren't always the easiest to come by and the definition of what it meant to live a high performance lifestyle was fluid. This won't be the case anymore with players being able to ask questions of professionals and have clear expectations given to them for what it will take to be an Eagle one day."

Host a National Tracking Camp

Joining Snape and Sparks in the selection process was Sue Whitewell, AIG Women's Collegiate All-Americans head coach, and Farrah Douglas, Girls High School All-Americans powered by ATAVUS head coach. Players will be added to this pool throughout the year, including after the GHSAA East Camp and the Stars and Stripes Camp in the summer.

The WCAA 15s and sevens teams will be competing this summer. The announced schedule for the teams will be made later this spring.

Players that want to be seen and considered for the USA Rugby age-grade pools can be scouted at USA Rugby National Championship events, Regional Cup Tournaments, or through a National Tracking Camp. Players may also be nominated through an online form.