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Eagle Women Named to Face Canada

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Eagle Women Named to Face Canada

Rachel Johnson captains the USA. Photo Ian Muir.

The USA Women’s Eagles reconvened this week in Chula Vista ahead of their first test match in the 2024 Pacific Four Series. Playing on home soil for the first time since 2021, the USA Match Day 23 are prepared to meet Canada in a thrilling North American border battle. 

Buy tickets for USA vs Canada at Dignity Health Sports Park here and use the discount code GRR for 10% Off!>>

USA v Canada kicks off Sunday, April 28, at 1:30 pm PT at DignityHealth Sports Park in Los Angeles. The match will be live on RugbyPass and Peacock, and tickets are available (discount code GRR) here>>.

Captained by Rachel Johnson, Sunday’s roster is similar to the squad that defeated South Africa in their test match last month. Coming in from USA Sevens residency, Autumn Czaplicki starts on the left wing, while Atumata Hingano is named to the bench. Johnson takes over captain duties this week as Kate Zackary recovers from an injury sustained last month, with the hopes of returning during the Pacific Four Series. Tess Feury and Georgie Perris-Redding are vice captains.

Four MA Sorensen Award-winners are in the starting lineup: Hope Rogers (Penn State, 2016), McKenzie Hawkins (2018, Lindenwood), Emily Henrich (2019, Dartmouth), and Kai Mae Sagapolu (Central Washington, 2023).

The last USA win over Canada was during the 2019 Super Series in Chula Vista. With Head Coach Sione Fukofuka implementing positive changes with a key focus on set piece accuracy and decision making, the team is ready to build off their win over South Africa and kick off the Pacific Four Series with a statement. 

“A key component to our selection this week was continuity and confidence from the platform we established in Ealing against South Africa," said Head Coach Sione Fukofuka. "Our theme of the week is chasing the challenge, and we know very well the quality of the Canadian team and the increase in pressure we will face. We have worked hard as a squad to put each other under pressure and really get comfortable with being uncomfortable and playing in that zone. Our selections are a reflection of the work the players have done and the balance of the 23 to allow us to play the game we want to play, physical, and direct but with skill and excitement. 

"The week in Chula Vista has been great. Being back on home soil and connecting our playing group has been positive, in addition to adding a few new faces to the mix. Our sessions have been competitive and allowed us to keep developing our overall game. The facilities at the training center have been excellent and allowed us to prepare well. We are working hard on our set piece and physicality as we know they will be contest points, as well as reinforcing aspects of our attack and defensive systems to allow us to transfer pressure on to Canada. Playing in front of our home fans, family, and friends is an added bonus and we want to do them and the jersey proud.”

"We're super excited for the start of the Pacific Four Series," added captain Rachel Johnson. "It's extra special that the start gets to be on home soil in LA. We're excited to see our friends, family, and fans. We are building from our last campaign against South Africa. We brought in a few new folks, so we have a big focus on our alignment and continuing to build clarity and confidence into our new attacking shape. I'm super excited for some of the new folks that have come in. I'm excited to see Autumn have a go and get the start there, and I'm looking forward to see what she can bring over from sevens as we continue to build a holistic USA Rugby Women's Program.

"Being temporary captain this week is such a privilege and an honor. I love this team and respect every individual, whether they are in the 23 or the greater squad. I'm really excited to serve them on Sunday."

USA Women’s Eagles Roster | USA v Canada | 2024 Pacific Four Series
Name Club Test Caps
1. Hope Rogers Exeter Chiefs 44
2. Kathryn Treder Loughborough Lightning 17
3. Keia Mae Sagapolu Leicester Tigers 7
4. Erica Jarrell Sale Sharks 6
5. Hallie Taufoou Loughborough Lightning 14
6. Tahlia Brody Leicester Tigers 8
7. Georgie Perris-Redding (VC) Sale Sharks 11
8. Rachel Johnson (C) Exeter Chiefs 26
9. Olivia Ortiz Exeter Chiefs 17
10. McKenzie Hawkins Colorado Gray Wolves 13
11. Autumn Czaplicki USA Sevens 3
12. Gabby Cantorna Exeter Chiefs 25
13. Bulou Mataitoga Loughborough Lightning 14
14. Emily Henrich Unattached 13
15. Tess Feury (VC) Leicester Tigers 23
16. Paige Stathopoulos Beantown RFC 5
17. Catie Benson Sale Sharks 41
18. Charli Jacoby Queensland Reds 25
19. Jenny Kronish Beantown RFC 13
20. Rachel Ehrecke Colorado Gray Wolves 11
21. Cassidy Bargell Beantown RFC 1
22. Katana Howard Sale Sharks 18
23. Atumata Hingano USA Sevens 2

Canada Head Coach Kevin Rouet has also named his lineup.

Edmonton’s Sara Cline is set to start her first international match for Canada at hook after coming off the bench to earn her first two caps for Canada in 2023. Tyson Beukeboom starts at lock and will earn her 66th cap for Canada, putting her just one behind Canada’s all-time women’s cap leader, Gillian Florence. Captain Sophie de Goede moves from her regular position at No. 8 to the flank with Gabrielle Senft set to start at the back of the forward pack.

Pamphinette Buisa and Sabrina Poulin both will start the match, recently representing Canada at the HSBC SVNS Series in Hong Kong earlier in April. Olivia Apps, captain of Canada’s Women’s Sevens Team, starts on the bench as a reserve.

“After bringing the squad back together for the first time since the fall last week, all of the players, coaches and staff are excited to begin the tournament with a match against the USA,” said Rouet. “All of our players have been playing at a high level in Canada and around the world since our last game together. They are eager to get back on the field on Sunday as we look to continue to build momentum for the next two matches with a strong showing against our long-time rivals.”

CANADA Roster vs USA

1.      Olivia DeMerchant (Mapledale, NB) – Halifax Tars RFC 
2.      Sara Cline (Edmonton, AB) – Leprechaun Tigers / Western Force 
3.      DaLeaka Menin (Vulcan, AB) – Exeter Chiefs  
4.      Tyson Beukeboom (Uxbridge, ON) – Cowichan RFC / Ealing Trailfinders  
5.      Laetitia Royer (Loretteville, QC) – St-Anne-de-Bellevue / ASM Romagnat 
6.      Pamphinette Buisa (Gatineau, QC) – Ottawa Irish 
7.      Sophie de Goede (Victoria, BC) – Castaway Wanderers RFC / Saracens 
8.      Gabrielle Senft (Regina, SK) – Castaway Wanderers / Stade Bordelais 
9.      Justine Pelletier (Rivière-du-Loup, QC) – Club de rugby de Québec / Stade Bordelais 
10.  Claire Gallagher (Caledon, ON) – Aurora Barbarians / Leicester Tigers 
11.  Paige Farries (Red Deer, AB) – Westshore RFC / Saracens 
12.  Alexandra Tessier (Sainte-Clotilde-de-Horton, QC) – Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC / Exeter Chiefs 
13.  Shoshanah Seumanutafa (White Rock, BC) – UBC / Chiefs Manawa 
14.  Madison Grant (Cornwall, ON) – Cornwall Claymores 
15.  Sabrina Poulin (St-Georges, QC) – Town of Mount Royal RFC 

16.  Emily Tuttosi (Souris, MB) – Calgary Hornets / Exeter Chiefs 
17.  McKinley Hunt (King City, ON) – Aurora Barbarians / Saracens
18.  Alexandria Ellis (Ottawa, ON) – Barrhaven Scottish / Stade Français Paris
19.  Courtney Holtkamp (Rimbey, AB) – Red Deer Titans Rugby 
20.   Julia Omokhuale (Calgary, AB) – Calgary Irish Rugby Club / Leicester Tigers
21.  Olivia Apps (Lindsay, ON) – Lindsay RFC 
22.  Julia Schell (Uxbridge, ON) – Guelph RFC /Castaway Wanderers / Ealing Trailfinders  
23.   Fancy Bermudez (Edmonton, AB) – NorWester Athletic Associations / Westshore RFC