There’s a lot going on in Georgia this weekend, between the HSBC Women’s Sevens Series tournament and its Atlanta 7s Festival, the east’s DI college quarterfinals at Life University, and the DII college Round of 16 games at Atlanta Old White’s pitches. But one very special event will be occurring inside Kennesaw State’s stadium during the Atlanta 7s: The 1991 USA Women’s National Team will be honored on the 25th anniversary of winning the first-ever Women’s Rugby World Cup.
Twelve teams (Canada, England, France, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Soviet Union, Spain, Sweden, USA, Wales) convened in Wales from April 4-16. The Americans kicked off pool play against the Netherlands, and escaped with a 7-0 win on a four-point Patty Jervey try and Andrea Morrell penalty. The following round saw the U.S. overwhelm the Soviet Union 46-0.
That pit the U.S. against New Zealand in the semifinals. It was another barnburner and another 7-0 win as Chris Harju slotted a penalty and Barbara Bond dotted down a pack try. Meanwhile, England was busy eliminating Spain, Italy and France en route to the final. The Roses took the first lead, six points on a converted try, before the U.S. rallied for 19, led by Claire Godwin and her two tries, 19-6 the final.
“Looking back, I realize what an achievement winning the World Cup was, and just how fortunate I was to be part of such an amazing team,” wrote Tam Breckenridge, one of 28 players and coaches who will be present for the Atlanta 7s ceremony. “I continue to take pride in my teammates’ accomplishments both on and off the field. We are forever united by the World Cup experience and our status as World Champions.”
The 1991 team and staff will be formally recognized on Fifth Third Bank Stadium’s pitch just prior to the final round of the Atlanta 7s on Saturday. The ceremony will include a brief slide show and public recap of that special April while the team is introduced. The ’91 national team will be present throughout the tournament, circulating the concourse and available to meet with the public.
Saturday evening, USA Rugby Trust has assisted in hosting a private reception for the team immediately after the Atlanta 7s.
“Most of the team continues to keep in touch on a regular basis thanks to social media, but this will be the first time we will be reunited as a team,” Breckenridge explained. “This occasion is even more special, being held in a stadium filled with American rugby fans as we watch our first women’s Olympic rugby team pursue their dreams.”
1991 USA Women’s National Team
(in attendance at the Atlanta 7s)
Head Coach, Kevin O’Brien
1991 USA Rugby Women’s Chair, Jami Jordan
1991 USA Rugby’s Referee to the WRWC, Laurel Lockett
(Starters as well as alternates & reserves)
Not in attendance: Kathy Flores, Barb Fugate, Claire Godwin, Tracy Henderson, Jennifer Hertz, Elise Huffer, Joan Morrissey, Julie Thompson