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USA 7s: 10th in Singapore, 4th into Madrid Finale

  • 06 May 2024
USA 7s Rugby

The 2023-24 HSBC SVNS took a different format this year. Instead of naming the champion on season-ending standings, there is now a final championship tournament that will do the honors. The USA Women’s 7s Team finished 10th at last week’s Singapore stop, but will feature in the finale — Madrid, May 31-June 2 — as the fourth-ranked team. [All photos: Mike Lee / KLC fotos for World Rugby]

“The tournament was critical to our plan overall,” USA Women’s 7s team head coach Emilie Bydwell said. “We had a few guiding principles that we had laid out at the beginning of the campaign, and one of those was ensuring that we pressure tested and provided meaningful competition exposure to our broader squad. Doing this not only breeds inner competition, but also prepares us for adversity at any stage.


USA 7s rugby

Jaz Gray (Photo: Mike Lee / KLC fotos for World Rugby)

“We have some really difficult decisions to make now as we narrow our focus into the next two pinnacle events,” the coach continued, “but ultimately we take a lot of pride in the fact that we had 20 players play over the course of the last seven tournaments and the team achieved a top-four ranking at the end of regular season.”

On one end of the spectrum, Jess Lu earned her first USA 7s cap in Singapore. Before donning the red-white-and-blue, Lu played for Princeton, Scion, the Loggerheads in the pro PR 7s league, and trained with China 7s. She also earned her law degree from Harvard. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Alev Kelter hit the 1,000-points-scored mark in Singapore — only the fifth person to do so on the women’s SVNS series.


USA 7s Rugby

Kelter vs. South Africa (Photo: Mike Lee / KLC fotos for World Rugby)

The USA went 0-3 in pool play, losing to South Africa 14-12, Japan 22-12 and France 19-15. That placed the Eagles into the consolation bracket, and the team started with 33-0 win against Brazil in the 9th place semifinal. In the 9th place match, however, South Africa won 5-0 and USA finished 10th overall.

“This was a challenging weekend, but we have known all along that this campaign was not going to be linear,” Bydwell said. “Every brick we lay, every opportunity that we have, we learn from and we use that to drive us forward. This competition reminded us that we need to be prepared to deliver detail, effort, focus, and control from minute one. Every team on the World Series can win any game at any moment and this tournament was a critical reflection of that.”

USA 7s rugby

Photo: Mike Lee / KLC fotos for World Rugby)

The Eagles now return to Chula Vista and ready for the championship tournament in Madrid, Spain, at the end of the month. RugbyPass TV will broadcast the games with a free livestream.

“Our focus will narrow now, as we prepare to go for a podium performance in Madrid,” Bydwell closed. “We know how much work that will take, and how focused and determined we will need to be. A core priority will be about how we play to our identity and maximize our strengths so we can ultimately be the best version of ourselves under pressure.”

USA Women’s 7s | Singapore

Name Position Tournaments
1. Cheta Emba Prop / Hooker 33
3. Kayla Canett Flyhalf 28
4. Nicole Heavirland Hooker / Scrumhalf 38
5. Alev Kelter Center 46
6. Alena Olsen Scrumhalf 23
9. Nana Fa’avesi Hooker/Prop 28
13. Sarah Levy Hooker 10
16. Jessica Lu Scrumhalf / Center 1
19. Kaylen Thomas Wing 2
22. Sammy Sullivan Prop 13
23. Lauren Doyle (C) Flyhalf 45
27. Summer Harris-Jones Prop 5
99. Jaz Gray Wing 14
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