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Team USA Names Olympic Rugby 7s Squad

  • 17 Jun 2024
  • 2664 Views
USA Rugby

CHULA VISTA, CA — USA Rugby announced today the 2024 U.S. Women’s Olympic Rugby Sevens Team as they head to compete at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, with match dates set for July 28-30, 2024, live on Peacock and the NBC networks. [lead photo: USA Rugby]

“We are very excited about this team, we have an excellent blend of speed, power, work ethic, skill, and creativity that we know will ignite our brand of rugby,” USA Rugby Women’s 7s Team Head Coach Emilie Bydwell said. “The players complement each other extremely well, enabling individuals to express their strengths and simultaneously bring out the super powers of those around them and the team.”

Co-captains Lauren Doyle and Naya Tapper lead the team as they pursue the USA Women’s Rugby Sevens’ first Olympic medal, 100 years after the USA won last Olympic gold in rugby. The USA finished fifth and sixth at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, respectively.

The team is composed of 12 starting athletes and two traveling reserves, with a mix of new and veteran Olympians. Alev Kelter and Lauren Doyle will make their third Olympic appearances, while Kayla Canett, Kristi Kirshe, Ilona Maher, Ariana Ramsey and Naya Tapper will be heading to their second Olympic Games. Alena Olsen, Spiff Sedrick, Sammy Sullivan, Sarah Levy, and Steph Rovetti will otherwise celebrate making their first Olympic appearance. Traveling reserves and 2020 Olympians Kris Thomas and Nicole Heavirland will also join the team in Paris.

Emilie Bydwell and high performance staff selected the team according to procedures approved by USA Rugby and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee. Selection procedures are available at eagles.rugby/selection-procedures.

“Throughout the year, we’ve maintained a training environment with 23 dedicated players,” Bydwell said. “This has created a high level of both competition and pressure, which has been instrumental in preparing the team and refining our final selection of the 14 athletes who will represent our program in July. We want to not only congratulate those selected, but thank the Highwomen that have contributed to the position that this team is in now.”

The squad departs July 14 for a pre-Olympic training camp in Tours before entering the Olympic Village in Paris. Competition kicks off July 28, live on Peacock and the NBC networks. Pools will be announced by World Rugby on June 23.

“As we approach the final stages of preparation, our focus is on refining every aspect of our game,” Bydwell closed. “We are particularly emphasizing mental flexibility and resilience, knowing these qualities will be critical in Paris. Our goal is not just to compete, but to move the jersey forward, leaving a legacy for those to follow and to deliver a performance that inspires American fans.”

U.S. Women’s Olympic Rugby Team | Olympic Games Paris 2024

Name Hometown Position
Alena Olsen Caledonia, Mich. Scrumhalf
Alev Kelter Eagle River, Alaska Center/Prop
Ariana Ramsey King of Prussia, Penn. Wing
Ilona Maher Burlington, Vt. Center/Prop
Kayla Canett Fallbrook, Calif. Flyhalf
Kristi Kirshe Franklin, Mass. Hooker/Prop
Lauren Doyle (C) Boody, Ill. Flyhalf
Naya Tapper (C) Charlotte, N.C. Wing
Sammy Sullivan Fayetteville, N.C. Prop/Hooker
Sarah Levy San Diego, Calif. Hooker
Spiff Sedrick Herriman, Utah Center
Steph Rovetti Reno, Nev. Scrumhalf
Nicole Heavirland* Whitefish, Mont. Hooker/Scrumhalf
Kris Thomas* Philadelphia, Pa. Hooker/Prop

*traveling reserve

STAFF | Olympic Games Paris 2024

Director, High Performance | Tamara Sheppard
Head Coach | Emilie Bydwell
Assistant Coach | Zack Test
Strength & Conditioning | Trey Ford
Team Manager | Liz Strohecker
Physiotherapist | Nicole Titmas
Team Doctor | Alex Myers
Sports Psychologist | Peter Haberl
Press Officer | Taylor Dean

SCHEDULE | Olympic Games Paris 2024

Pools will be announced June 23, 2024
All matches will be live on Peacock TV with select games on NBC networks

Sunday, July 28
Pool matches begin 9:30am ET

Monday, July 29
Pool matches continue 8am ET
Knockouts begin 2pm ET

Tuesday, July 30
Knockouts continue beginning 8:30am ET

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