Women’s Eagles Sevens: 2018 Paris Sevens Preview

USA has one chance to crack the Top 4 when 2017-18 Series finale begins June 8

CHULA VISTA, CA. - The Women's Eagles Sevens will begin the final stop of the 2017-18 HSBC World Sevens Series at Paris Sevens on Fri, June 8. After setting a new benchmark with their Bronze finish in Langford, marking the first time the squad has medaled twice in one season, the Women's Sevens look ahead to Paris with with a chance to finish higher than ever in the Top Four. Pool play opponents and schedules for the 2018 Paris Sevens tournament will be announced closer to date.

THIS SERIES LAST STOP

A huge opening win over Russia (35-14) kicked off an exciting and promising start for the United States at Canada Sevens. A tough, last minute loss to France (19-22) followed suit, after which the Women's Sevens restored their competitive rhythm against Japan where they displayed the right balance of physicality and offensive response to earn a 28-7 win and berth in the Cup Quarterfinals.

Facing Canada in a thrilling affair that saw both teams go back and forth across the tryline, USA finished victorious with a 28-26 result that offered a meeting with New Zealand in the Cup Semifinals. There, the U.S. was challenged through both halves of play, remaining competitive through the first but ultimately falling to a 10-33 Black Ferns Sevens win. But, during the Bronze Final against France, the Eagles employed a relentless energy and technical execution that earned a 21-5 medal-winning finish.

Medaling for the second time this season, the United States left Langford two spots higher in the overall standings in fifth place (44 points), only a points differential behind Canada from climbing to fourth. The United States also heads to Paris ranked in the Top Five of seven offensive and defensive statistical categories, including all-time points and tries scored.

WHO TO WATCH

Through the season, Alev Kelter has quickly become a household Sevens name. In Langford, she scored her 50th Eagle try, notched in USA's 500th team try and finished the tournament as the top try scorer. But, that's not all. Kelter currently sits in the Top 5 of three different statistical categories herself, including overall points scored, conversions and tackles made. She won't be one to miss in Paris.

Injured in training camp and forced to miss the trip to Langford, Kristen Thomas will rejoin her team in Paris healthy and prepared to build upon her season debut in Kitakyushu. Owning two tries in one tournament alone, Thomas' return will be an invaluable asset to the U.S. as the season comes to a close.

With Sarah Buonopane and Kate Zackary not traveling to France, Ilona Maher will makeher senior international debut. A standout athlete from Quinnipiac University, Maher recently helped Scion Rugby Academy earn an Elite title at the 2018 Las Vegas Invitational.

THE COMPETITION

Pools and schedules for the 2018 Paris Sevens tournament will be announced closer to date.

HEAR IT FROM THE HEAD COACH, RICHIE WALKER

On focus during training camp...

"This group has worked incredibly hard to keep momentum building from our last Stop. We've been focused on finding the right balance between tactical and technical execution so our strategy remains consistent to the medal finish we achieved last month."

On what to expect on the pitch in Paris...

"Every opponent we face in Paris will be that much more physical and determined to produce a promising result as the season ends. Knowing this, it will be critical for us to minimize errors and produce as many opportunities as we can to stay ahead on the scoreboard."

WHERE WE STAND

TEAM STATS

HSBC World Series Standing5th | 44 points
Most Points Scored5th | 446 points
Most Tries Scored5th | 70 tries
Most Conversions Made4th | 48 conversions
Restarts5th | 81 restarts
All-Time Points4th | 3,124 points
All-Time Tries4th | 513 tries

PLAYER STATS

Most Points ScoredAlev Kelter | 2nd, 149 points
Most Tries ScoredNaya Tapper | 4th, 22 tries
Most ConversionsAlev Kelter | 4th, 60 conversions
Most TacklesAlev Kelter | 4th, 60 tackles

WOMEN'S EAGLES SEVENS ROSTER | 2018 PARIS SEVENS

1. Jordan Gray | 20pts

2. Cheta Emba | 20pts

3. Abby Gustaitis | 15pts

4. Joanne Fa'avesi | 0pts

5. Ryan Carlyle | 25pts

6. Nicole Heavirland(C) | 62pts

7. Kayla Canett | 0pts

8. Lauren Doyle | 0pts

9. Ilona Maher | 0pts

10. Alev Kelter | 149pts

11. Kris Thomas | 10pts

12. Naya Tapper | 110pts

Non-traveling reserves:Kate Zackary, Neariah Persinger, Kasey McCravey, Mata Hingano

WOMEN'S EAGLES SEVENS STAFF | 2018 PARIS SEVENS

Head Coach -Richie Walker

Athletic Trainer - Sarah Leslie

Head of Physical Preparation -Matt Long

Analyst -Dave Gardner

Team Manager -Liz Strohecker

WOMEN'S EAGLES SEVENS SCHEDULE | 2018 PARIS SEVENS

No matches yet.

Schedule and pools will be announced closer to date.

TO SUM IT UP

The Women's Eagles Sevens have one final chance to crack the Top Four before the season culminates at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 in San Francisco July 20-22. After hitting the podium for the second time this season, earning a Bronze medal at the 2018 Canada Sevens tournament, the United States sit in fifth place with only a points differential holding them back from moving past Canada to fourth.

The 2018 Paris Sevens tournament will begin on June 8 LIVE on FloRugby. Schedule and pool play opponents will be announced closer to date.