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Women All-Stars Wrap Up Assembly

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Women All-Stars Wrap Up Assembly

The Women’s All-Star week following Christmas Day is done with a series of final games among eight teams.

Four senior women’s teams, two collegiate-level teams, and two U20 teams clashed on Saturday, Jan 2. The senior games were all very competitive, including the games earlier in the week that featured open substitutions, while on the collegiate and U20 levels, each level had one very close game and one not-so-close.

The purpose of the week was to look at players who tracked to the national team. This affected selections, as players who are well-known to the Eagle setup didn’t get as much playing time as up-and-comers. The goal of the coaches involved was to get as many players selected to national teams - and thus they tried to showcase players with potential.

USA senior WNT Head Coach Pete Steinberg said he saw good talent all through the spectrum, adding that he was especially impressed with the U20 players considering they are on a two-year cycle and most are actually U19s.

All of the top college players ended up playing with the senior teams, and acquitted themselves well.

The week had a more important, long-term purpose aside from identifying players - it was designed to get players and coaches alike used to the Eagle way of doing things.

“It was sort of an Eagles light assembly,” Steinberg told Goff Rugby Report. “We mirrored the training, preparation, and nutrition that we would have in an Eagle assembly. This was also useful for the coaches. We want to develop players and coaches.”

Ten coaches new to this type of assembly joined ten returning from the last assembly in working with players and understanding what it’s like to work with a group of disparate players at a high level.

“This is our second assembly of 200 players,” said Steinberg, “and the level of player was much higher than last time. Our goals were to put players in a position where they were forced to perform, and we did that.”

Steinberg said the U20 level of play was “very high,” and, he added that senior players who were new to the national team setup last summer returned with a new confidence.

What’s next? An assembly in June for the older players, and a Stars & Stripes assembly for college and U20 players around July 4. Steinberg said this will be the scenario for the foreseeable future.

“Instead of doing things differently every year, we want things to be predictable so the athletes can plan,” said the Eagle coach. “If they know when to make themselves available, and they can plan and budget for it, then it’s easier for everyone.”