Women’s National Team reveals lineup for test match with No. 2 England

Five changes made to starting XV with up to three players earning their first cap overall

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LONDON, ENG. – Head Coach Rob Cain has named his match-day 23 to face England’s Red Roses this Friday, Nov. 9 at 2:45 PM ET, LIVE on FloRugby.

The full roster will feature five changes made to the starting XV with four new faces in as reserves and up to three new caps to be awarded overall.

Jumping in at hooker for Katy Augustyn is Joanna Kitlinski who joins the group after being activated as an injury reserve for Eti Haungatau. Kitlinski and the forward pack are supported by prop Megan Rom who suits up for Azniv Nalbandian after earning her first cap last week.

The backs are highlighted by Anna Karen Pedraza who receives the start at scrumhalf and Sarah Levy who debuts at the wing. With Levy in at wing, Kaitlyn Broughton will shift to the fullback position for Meya Bizer.

Changes to the starting XV are rounded up with McKenzie Hawkins moving into center for Kimber Rozier, while the reserves see four adjustments to last week.

Among them are Jennine Duncan and Melissa Finkelstein who have the opportunity to make their own debuts. Capped Women’s Eagles Kristine Sommer and Megan Foster may appear as well for the first time this November.

“We are excited by the challenge that England presents us,” said Head Coach Rob Cain. “They are ranked second in the world and it’s going to be another great experience for us as a group . They will pose lots of different problems for us to solve with their accuracy and it will be up to us to control the space battle and create the pictures we want to see on the pitch.”

The Women’s National Team last faced England at Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 where the United States fell to the Red Roses before sealing their place in the Semifinals.

England will play their first match of the November Internationals against the USA, marking the last time they took the pitch as their 33-11 victory over Ireland in the NatWest 6 Nations this year.

Though they suffered a tough loss to the first-ranked Black Ferns in Chicago last weekend, the Eagles saw 13 players earn their first cap on home soil. As the program continues to shape its future, emphasizing more opportunities for emerging domestic athletes in the lead-up to Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021, the matchup this Friday will be another critical step in that venture.

Both teams will be anxious to take the field once more as Head Coach Rob Cain leads his first test match on the road and the Red Roses return for the first time in eight months.

U.S. Women’s National Team Starters

Player Position Club Caps
1. Megan Rom Prop Life University 1
2. Joanna Kitlinski Hooker Glendale Merlins 7
3. Catie Benson Prop Life West Gladiatrix 15
4. Stacey Bridges Lock Beantown Rugby 34
5. Alycia Washington Lock New York Rugby 15
6. Rachel Johnson Flanker Oregon Sports Rugby 1
7. Kate Zackary (C) Flanker San Diego Surfers 7
8. Jordan Gray-Matyas No. 8 Women’s Sevens Residency 16
9. Anna Karen Pedraza Scrumhalf Lindenwood University 2
10. Gabby Cantorna Flyhalf Glendale Merlins 1
11. Sarah Levy* Wing New York Rugby 0
12. McKenzie Hawkins Center Lindenwood University 1
13. Emily Henrich Center Dartmouth College 1
14. Kelsi Stockert Wing Women’s Sevens Residency 6
15. Kaitlyn Broughton Fullback Atlanta Harlequins 1

U.S. Women’s National Team Reserves

Player Position Club Caps
16. Joyce Taufa Reserve Lindenwood University 1
17. Azniv Nalbandian Reserve Penn State University 1
18. Nick James Reserve Houston Athletic 4
19. Melissa Finkelstein* Reserve Glendale Merlins 0
20. Kristine Sommer Reserve Harlequins (ENG) / Seattle Saracens 5
21. Nikki Kenyon Reserve Women’s Sevens Residency / Life West Gladiatrix 1
22. Megan Foster Reserve San Diego Surfers 4
23. Jennine Duncan* Reserve Seattle Saracens 0

U.S. Women’s National Team Staff

Head Coach | Rob Cain
Assistant Coach | Richard Ashfield
Assistant Coach | Kate Daley
Assistant Coach & Team Manager | Jamie Burke
Head of Physical Performance | Ian Jones
Head Performance Analyst | David Gardner
Team Doctor | Terrence Cronin
Head Athletic Trainer | Bri Arsenault
Assistant Athletic Trainer | Katherine Henry

U.S. Women’s National Team Schedule | November Internationals 2018

vs New Zealand 6-67 (L)

vs England
Fri, Nov. 9 | 2:45 PM ET
Allianz Park, London, England

vs Ireland
Sun, Nov. 18 | Time TBC
Energia Park, Dublin, Ireland