The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series heads to Hong Kong for the penultimate stop on the women’s 2022-23 circuit. The USA Women’s 7s Team has named its 12-player travel roster and will look for a sixth-straight podium finish this year. A Cup quarterfinal appearance will afford the standings points to secure a top-four finish on the season, and thus spot in the 2024 Olympics.
“We have it in the back of our minds that achieving certain results in pool play could result in automatic qualification for the Olympics,” USA Women’s 7s head coach Emilie Bydwell told USA Rugby. “While this is exciting, we can’t veer away from our process that has allowed us to be in the position that we are in – going one game at a time and one moment at a time.”
The USA will compete in Pool C against Spain, Japan and France.
“All three pool teams will provide us with a different challenge and we will need to put our best foot forward from game one, minute one,” Bydwell continued. “We took a lot away from the Vancouver tournament, particularly our Australia semifinal loss, that we are looking to build upon and will be focused on taking specific actions to put ourselves in a position to be a more effective defensive and attacking unit.”
Naya Tapper and Lauren Doyle serve as co-captains, and lead a squad that sees 10 of 12 squad members from Vancouver. Ilona Maher has since broken an ankle in training and will miss the rest of the HSBC season, and Sammy Sullivan has reported to military duties with Army. Spiff Sedrick and Steph Rovetti have stepped into the roster.
“[They] are both dynamic and exciting players and offer us points of difference that we can use to expand how we play and provide different pictures and challenges to the opposition,” Bydwell praised the duo. “We have known from the beginning of the season that it would take all 22 of our residents to achieve our goal of Olympic qualification and we are looking forward to seizing the opportunities presented to us in Hong Kong.”
Pool games kick off early Friday morning / late Thursday evening, depending on time zone (the fixtures & results page calculates kickoff times for you), and culminates on Sunday. The final leg of the HSBC World Rugby series occurs May 12-14 in Toulouse, France.
USA Women’s 7s | Hong Kong
|1. Cheta Emba||Prop/Hooker||27|
|3. Kayla Canett||Flyhalf/Scrumhalf||19|
|4. Nicole Heavirland||Hooker/Scrumhalf||33|
|5. Alex “Spiff” Sedrick||Flyhalf/Center||10|
|6. Alena Olsen||Scrumhalf||14|
|7. Naya Tapper (C)||Wing/Prop||31|
|10. Steph Rovetti||Flyhalf/Center||8|
|11. Kristen Thomas||Hooker/Prop||37|
|12. Kristi Kirshe||Center/Prop||18|
|15. Alev Kelter||Center/Flyhalf||37|
|21. Ariana Ramsey||Scrumhalf/Wing||1|
|23. Lauren Doyle (C)||Wing||37|
Head Coach | Emilie Bydwell
Assistant Coach | Zack Test
Athletic Trainer | Nicole Titmas
Strength & Conditioning | Trey Ford
Sports Psychologist | Peter Haberl
USA’s Hong Kong Schedule
Friday, March 31 (Times ET)
12:40 a.m. v Spain
4:40 a.m. v Japan
9:09 p.m. v France
Saturday, April 1
2:16 a.m. Knockouts begin
Sunday, April 2