Women's Eagles player pool for 2016 competitions announced

BOULDER, Colo. - The 2016 player pool for the Women's Eagles, comprised of 49 athletes, has been announced.

The Women's National Team pathway has been revamped since Women's Rugby World Cup 2014, where the national team finished sixth with two victories. The WNT Pathway has combined all the age-grade teams with the Women's Eagles, allowing for enhanced collaboration and accelerated player development. This is reflected in the number of players in the Eagle pool that are still eligible for age-grade programs.

"The new structure allows for there to be visibility from the Eagles all the way down to the Girls High School All-Americans powered by ATAVUS," said Pete Steinberg, Women's Eagle head coach. "That visibility enables players that have the potential to be identified earlier and for them to receive the appropriate development opportunities."

There are 16 players in the pool that are still age-grade eligible, with each of them having competed their way into the pool.

"Each player has been seen in elite competition, with the winter National All-Star Competition being the most powerful selection vehicle," said Steinberg.

The winter NASC brought together the best senior, college, and under-20 players in the country to compete in a week-long competition. The structure allows for players who play well to be promoted to the level above. This winter, Frankie Sands played her way into the senior competition and now into the Eagle pool.

"Frankie is a great example of how the pathway should work," said Steinberg. "She showed that she was a superior in the college game, moved up to the seniors, and demonstrated that she could play well there. She earned her spot by her play, which is how it should work."

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The pool is relatively inexperienced, with only seven players that represented the team at the World Cup in France in 2014, but it does include nine players that were capped for the first time at the 2015 Women's Rugby Super Series and 21 total players that have previously represented the Eagles.

There is a strong college flavor with strong representation from the top college teams in the country with Central Washington, Penn State, and Stanford all having multiple current or former players on the list.

"The development of the high school and the college game is really having an impact on the selections of the national teams," said Women's National Team Pathway Manager Tam Breckenridge. "Not only are players starting the game younger, but they are going to colleges that can offer them a high performance environment so their physical and rugby development is accelerated."

The pool will expand throughout the year. Players can play their way into the Eagle pool by participating in a National Championship competition or through a National Tracking Camp (NTC). Once a player has been identified they will be invited to an NASC and their performance in that competition will determine their selection.

This pool of players will be supported with high performance programs to help their development delivered through BridgeAthletic platform. The next event for the pool will be the NASC in June, and that will lead to the 2016 Women's Rugby Super Series with matches against England, Canada, and France. Players that retain eligibility for age-grade programs may still be selected for those events to maximize their development.

Residents training with the Women's Eagles Sevens program at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., were not considered for selection into the Eagle pool. However, they will be considered for future events with the Eagles.

Name Position Team/Club
Bernheim, Rebekah "Rose" Back Colorado Springs
Braaten, Sylvia Back Twin Cities Amazons
Bryson, Ruth Back Berkeley All Blues
Buonopane, Sarah Back Beantown
Dalal, Bianca Back San Diego Surfers
Feury, Tess Back Penn State University
Foster, Megan Back Life West
Lockwood, Hannah Back San Diego Surfers
Lui, Jennifer 'Jenny' Back Glendale
Morgan, Saskia Back Brown University
Okoro, Uzoamaka "Uzo" Back Brown University
Overcash, Erin Back At Large
Owsiany, Deven Back San Diego Surfers
Rhode, Lauren Back New York Rugby Club
Rozier, Kimberly Back Washington Furies
Sands, Francis Back Norwich University
Serevi, Asinate (Nate) Back Central Washington University
Sever, Jennifer Back Life West
Stockert, Kelsi Back Seattle Saracens
Trujillo, Elizabeth "Tru" Back San Diego Surfers
     
     
Annis, Baylee Forward Burlington
Augustyn, Kathryn Forward Berkeley All Blues
Benson, Catherine Forward Life West
Bridges, Stacey Forward Twin Cities Amazons
Cairns, Elizabeth "Bitsy" Forward Penn State University
Chobot, Sarah Forward Glendale
Daley, Kathleen Forward At Large
Dunn, Yejadai Forward Dartmouth College
Faaee, Tiffany "Tiff" Forward New York Rugby Club
Fetu'u, Frieda Forward Berkeley All Blues
Fonua, Maxine Forward Berkeley All Blues
Gray, Jordan "Jordan" Forward Brigham Young University
Johnson, Bailey Forward Minnesota State U-Mankato
Kinsella, Molly Forward Glendale
Kitlinski, Joanna Forward Glendale
Mailau, Eta "E" Forward Vipers
McGuire, Val Forward Norwich University
Pankey, Samantha "Sam" Forward Washington Furies
Parsons, Sara Forward At Large
Phiel, Christiane Forward Chicago North Shore
Pinson, Megan Forward Life West
Pipkin, Taylah Forward Penn State University
Reinhardt, Jamila Forward Augusta
Rogers, Hope Forward Penn State University
Ryan, Rachel Forward Glendale
Schafer, Haley "Hales" Forward Central Washington University
Strasko, Nicole Forward Life University
Washington, Alycia Forward Hartford Wild Roses
Wehrwein, Frances Forward Berkeley All Blues