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Preview: USA vs. England

  • 27 Jun 2019

Photo: Seth McConnell

The USA Women’s Eagles will play their first test match of the year against No. 2 England this Friday, June 28 as the opening round of Women’s Rugby Super Series 2019. Kickoff is set for 1 PM Pacific Time at the Elite Athlete Training Center in Chula Vista, CA, LIVE on Tickets are available at


Led by Captain Kate Zackary, the starting roster could see up to six new players earn their first caps. Scrumhalf Ashlee Byrge, center Eti Haungatau and fullback Bulou Mataitoga will all make their national team debuts as starters, while Charli Jacoby, Olivia Ortiz and Katana Howard have an opportunity to be capped as reserves.

The roster also features the return of Hope Rogers at prop and Asinate Serevi at No. 8. Rogers plays her first test match since Rugby World Cup 2017, having worked diligently to come back from injury as part of the Eagles’ and Eagles Sevens player pools. Serevi played her last test match in 2015, also taking time off to recover from injury and complete her college degree.

Both suited up in April during the USA’s historic matchup with Barbarians F.C.

Starting center Alev Kelter and reserve Kris Thomas both jump over to 15s after a historic season with the USA Women’s Sevens who recently won their first Gold medal in France. Kelter and Thomas played their last test matches in 15s at the aforementioned World Cup.

1. Catie Benson – Life West (17 caps)

2. Joanna Kitlinski – Glendale (8)

3. Hope Rogers (25)

4. Kristine Sommer – Seattle / Harlequins (7)

5. Stacey Bridges – Beantown (36)

6. Kate Zackary (C) – San Diego (9)

7. Joycelynn Taufa – Lindenwood University (3)

8. Asinate Serevi – Scion (2)

9. Ashlee Byrge – USA 7s (0)

10. Gabriella Cantorna – Glendale (3)

11. Jennine Detiveaux – Seattle (2)

12. Fane Haungatau – USA 7s (0)

13. Alev Kelter – USA 7s (9)

14. Bui Baravilala – San Diego (6)

15. Bulou Mataitoga – Berkeley (0)


16. Nick James – Houston Athletic (6)

17. Charli Jacoby – Chicago North Shore (0)

18. Alycia Washington – New York (17)

19. Elizabeth Cairns – Life West (8)

20. Olivia Ortiz – Davenport University (0)

21. Emily Henrich – Dartmouth College (2)

22. Kris Thomas – USA 7s (7)

23. Katana Howard – Twin Cities (0)

STAFFGeneral Manager | Emilie BydwellHead Coach | Rob CainAssistant Coach | Jamie Burke

Assistant Coach | Kate Daley

Assistant Coach Rich Ashfield

Coach/Team Manager | Jenny Lui

Head Strength & Conditioning Coach | Ian Jones

Head Performance Analyst | Dave Gardner

Team Doctor | Terence Cronin

Head Athletic Trainer | Katherine Henry

Athletic Trainer | Danielle Allen


The USA Women and England last met during the November Internationals 2018 where the English prevailed. Starting wing Jennine Detiveaux scored her first career try in that contest as the United States battled through an intensely rainy affair in only their second test match as a group.

Days later, pool players assembled to face England Academy where the USA Selects came away with a resilient 25-24 victory. It was the first win for the Women’s National Team program under then-new Head Coach Rob Cain and a momentous occasion that spurred a subsequent 19-10 test match victory over No. 8 Ireland to close the Autumn schedule.


During their last matchup in April, the U.S. Women’s National Team made an impressive showing against Barbarians F.C. at home in Glendale, CO. In a thrilling battle from whistle to whistle, the Eagles came back from a 17-point deficit to steal the lead and fall by one-point to a Barbarians try in the final seconds. It was the first ever match between a Barbarian side and a USA national team which saw a number of promising runs and impressive tries by the Eagles.


“It’s been a great few days and weeks ahead of our first opportunity this Friday. We are all looking forward to the challenges that England will present to us. We know how dangerous they consistently are and proved again with their Six Nations success and being ranked 2nd in the world.”

“We have been consistently building, measuring and learning in the past 12 months. The players are excited, the staff are all excited for the players and this is another step on the path towards where we want to be. What’s exciting for me is knowing that as a group we are only just beginning to scratch the surface.”


Single day tickets start at only $19 with a full tournament pass available for only $69. To purchase and for a full schedule, visit


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