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Army's Heavirland Looks for 1st Cap

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Army's Heavirland Looks for 1st Cap

(Photo: Patrick Cote/Daily Inter Lake)

Nicole Heavirland is the youngest player (by a couple of years) on the USA Women’s National Team currently in Canada for the Super Series, a three-test tournament between the USA, Canada, England, and New Zealand. Representing the young end of the age spectrum is a familiar position for the West Pointer, whose talent was first tabbed back in 2012, a year after the Montana native started playing. Since then, she’s made numerous appearances at the Chula Vista OTC, and was one of the youngest members of the Junior All American tour to the 2013 U20 Nations Cup.

There was always one caveat with Heavirland, however: Her heart belonged to basketball, a sport that helped the now-20-year-old into the U.S. Military Academy. But things change.

“During the recruiting process, the [West Point] basketball coaches were aware of my desire to play both sports,” Heavirland explained. “However, the time commitment required for Division I basketball and academics at West Point proved that desire to be impossible.”

After a fall season with the basketball team, Heavirland transferred her attention to the Army rugby team.

“Basketball was my number one sport for years, and it taught me to work hard to achieve my goals at a young age,” said Heavirland. “But rugby is my sport now, and I’m not looking back.”

It helped that Heavirland was transferring into a well supported, well staffed varsity program.

“I can’t thank Bill LeClerc and Steve Lewis enough for their knowledge and guidance this past year,” Heavirland said of the Army 15s and 7s coaches, respectively. “They have a passion for the game that is contagious.”

Heavirland led her team to an ACRA DI 7s championship, unseating the previously undefeated Norwich Cadets for the title. She also earned an invite to the National All Star Competition (NASC), where the outside center was again one of the youngest players in the senior bracket.

“Any time you get to train with the best is awesome,” Heavirland reflected on NASC. “The rugby culture and the athletes are second to none. Hope Rogers is probably the number one prop in the world, and [I admire] Jessica Wooden because she is athletic and reads space well.”

Nicole, one of three Heavirland children currently playing rugby in college, has the opportunity to accelerate her development in the sport, should she receive some field time in Canada.

“I look forward to the opportunity to compete for playing time,” Heavirland concluded. “I get fired up just thinking about playing the best in the world. … I know I have a lot to learn, and I look forward to the journey.”

The USA Women kick off their Super Series campaign tomorrow against England at 4 p.m. MT. Watch the action live at

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