Eagles chosen for Super Series in Salt Lake City

UPDATE | June 27

Nicole Heavirland will remain at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., with Sylvia Braaten replacing the young back in the Super Series squad.

LAFAYETTE, Colo. - Seven potential Women's Eagles debutantes have been selected to Pete Steinberg's national team for the upcoming Women's Rugby Super Series, to be held at Salt Lake City's Regional Athletic Complex July 1-9.

The U.S. will play Canada, England, and France in the "United State of Rugby," with the tournament featuring four nations ranked in the top six of the World Rugby women's rankings. Hosted in conjunction with Rugby Utah and Utah Sports Commission, and produced by First 15 Sport Performance, the Super Series follows last year's inaugural event in British Columbia, where the Eagles defeated the host nation.

Apart from the three members of the Women's Eagles Sevens in residency at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., the 26 players chosen to the squad attended the latest National All-Star Competition at University of Northern Colorado, where 53 athletes were separated into two teams. The NASC consisted of two match days, with Eagles Head Coach Pete Steinberg and the coaching staff watching for combinations and preparedness of athletes for international play.

"This was by far the most competitive camp I have had in my five years as the head coach of the Eagles," Steinberg said. "Not only do we have 26 players that I am confident can step out in an international competition and compete, but we have several players in the non-traveling reserves. The unified pathway has really helped us get the best player into camp."

Nineteen of the 26 players competed in last year's Super Series, including Eagles Sevens' Cheta Emba, Nicole Heavirland, and Jane Paar, each of whom made their 15s debuts during the tour. Several AIG Women's Collegiate All-Americans, like Catherine Benson and Jordan Gray, return to the team, while other All-Americans like Megan Foster and Nicole Strasko are part of their first senior national team assemblies.

Benson, Foster, and Jennifer Sever won USA Rugby Emirates Airline Club Women's Division II National Championships with Life West earlier this month, and are three of 12 National Champions or National Championship Finalists across the collegiate and club levels of 15s and sevens play in the past year.

The continuity between last year's Super Series team and this year's squad will go a long way towards preparing the Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 selections. The collaboration between Steinberg's 15s program and Richie Walker's sevens team out of the OTC has also been a work in progress as the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games precludes several residents from 15s selection, while some athletes have an eye on participating in both codes through Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 and beyond.

"The selection for the Super Series demonstrates better coordination with the sevens program and we have players moving back and forth between the two programs based on what is best for the team and player," Steinberg said.

A women's age-grade Stars and Stripes Camp will be held alongside the Super Series in Salt Lake City, with 50 WCAA-eligible and 50 AIG Women's Junior All-American-eligible athletes set to vie for selection to the WCAA team that will face Canada's Maple Leafs on the second and third match days of the senior competition.

All six matches across the three match days of the Women's Rugby Super Series - July 1, July 5, and July 9 - will be broadcast live on The Rugby Channel. Fans can attend both Super Series matches each day for as little as $5 and up to $20, with tickets available online and at Regional Athletic Complex.

Women's Eagles | Women's Rugby Super Series
Kathryn Augustyn - Berkeley All Blues
Catherine Benson - Life West WRFC
Sylvia Braaten - Twin Cities Amazons
Stacey Bridges - Scion Sirens
Elizabeth Cairns - Pennsylvania State University
Cheta Emba - Women's Eagles Sevens
Tiffany Faaee - New York Rugby Club
Megan Foster* - Life West WRFC
Jordan Gray - Brigham Young University
Nicole Heavirland - Women's Eagles Sevens
Molly Kinsella - Glendale Raptors
Joanna Kitlinski - Glendale Raptors
Jennifer Lui - Glendale Raptors
Saskia Morgan* - Brown University
Deven Owsiany - San Diego Surfers
Jane Paar - Women's Eagles Sevens
Samantha Pankey - Washington Furies
Christiane Pheil* - Chicago North Shore
Jamila Reinhardt* - Augusta WRFC
Hope Rogers - Pennsylvania State University
Kimberly Rozier - Washington Furies
Asinate Serevi* - Central Washington University
Jennifer Sever - Life West WRFC
Nicole Strasko* - Life University
Naya Tapper* - University of North Carolina
Alycia Washington - Hartford Wild Roses
Jessica Wooden - American Rugby Pro Training Center
*indicates non-capped player
no longer in squad
added to squad

Women's Eagles | Women's Rugby Super Series Reserves
Baylee Annis - Burlington WRFC
Sylvia Braaten - Twin Cities Amazons
Nick James - Houston Athletic Rugby Club
Sara Parsons - Austin Valkyries
Lauren Rhode - New York Rugby Club
Nicole Snyder - Bloomsburg University
Katherine Zackary - Women's National Team

Women's Eagles | Women's Rugby Super Series Coaching Staff
Pete Steinberg - Head Coach
Peter Baggetta - Associate Head Coach
Martha Daines - Assistant Coach
Richard Ashfield - Assistant Coach

Women's Eagles | Women's Rugby Super Series High Performance Staff
Christian Carter - Strength & Conditioning
Adam Russell - Director of Player Performance
Liz Kirk - Player Performance
Julie Sutcliffe - Player Performance
Caitlin Singletary - Video

Women's Eagles | Women's Rugby Super Series Medical Staff
Amy Valenta - Head Physiotherapist
Sarah Leslie - Assistant Physiotherapist
Terrence Cronin - National Team Doctor

Women's Eagles | Women's Rugby Super Series Management
Roshna Wunderlich
Jeff Horton

Women's Eagles | Women's Rugby Super Series
v. France - Friday, July 1 @ 5 p.m. MT
v. Canada - Tuesday, July 5 @ 5 p.m. MT
v. England - Saturday, July 9 @ 3 p.m. MT