Women’s Eagles 2019 Performance Squad announced

Women’s High Performance names 38 athletes to the top tier of a new 15s player pool structure

CHULA VISTA, CA. – 38 athletes have been named to the new Women’s Eagles (15s) 2019 Performance Squad, USA Rugby announced today.

The Performance Squad serves as the top tier of a new player pool structure, to be announced at the beginning of each year and remain equivalent in status across both the Women’s and Men’s Eagles (15s) sides. Both programs will include an Extended Squad within their player pool — which sits junior to the top tier — while the Women’s National Team will also have a third tier called the Watchlist.

Players who sit in the Extended Squad and Watchlist represent athletes who show potential to reach the main Women’s Performance tier over time. Each of the three groups within the player pool will receive attention and support from Women’s High Performance with accountability and resources most heavily attributed to the top Performance tier.

Additionally, to give athletes more opportunities to compete internationally, Women’s High Performance will integrate its sevens and fifteens programs by allowing Women’s Sevens players a chance to be selected for fifteens competitions. Athletes in the Women’s Sevens Residency Program will be considered an extension of the Women’s Eagles Performance Squad, with the goal of helping players cross into the fifteens program earlier in the 2021 World Cup cycle.

As a core piece in the new Road to 2021 Campaign for the Women’s National Team, the tiered structure provides athletes with much-needed transparency on where they stand within the larger setup of the program.

View the Women's Eagles Road to 2021 Campaign 

The Women’s Eagles 2019 Performance Squad features 21 forwards and 17 backs with 10 players still seeking their first cap.

General Manager for Women’s High Performance, Emilie Bydwell said: “Rob and staff have worked hard to create the necessary depth charts for the Women’s 15s program at the senior and age-grade levels. These have allowed us to form critical tiers within our playing group and better understand what our current playing group looks like now, versus what it could look like in two and a half years at Rugby World Cup. Announcing and supporting a Performance Squad annually will increase transparency, clarity and inter-competition allow us to best maximize our support structures and resources. Having a clear vision on how each tier of our senior player pool, age-grade groups and sevens residents interact, operate and continue to develop is critical. Developing a fully functional ecosystem that encompasses all of these layers has been a real priority for us.”

Women’s Eagles Head Coach Rob Cain said: “This announcement shows exciting times for the Women’s 15s Program with many more announcements to follow. This continues to show our determination in demonstrating how clear, transparent and supportive we are with our approach as a program. Through our tiered player pools and yearly calendar, we give everyone an equal opportunity with lots of platforms to pursue their dream of being an Eagle.

This inner competition and accountability will really allow the players to not only drive their playing ambitions but also keep everything contextual; allowing them to showcase themselves on a regular basis in the environment we create.”

For more information about the Women’s National Team’s Road to 2021 Campaign, visit usarug.by/W15to2021.

To support the Women’s Eagles in their endeavor to represent the United States at Rugby World Cup New Zealand 2021, click here.

Women’s Eagles 2019 Performance Squad

Player NamePositionClubCaps
Sui Aa’uCenterCentral Washington University0
Tiana Aa’uPropCentral Washington University1
Tiara Aa’uPropCentral Washington University0
Katy AugustynHookerBerkeley All Blues33
Bui BaravilalaCenterBerkeley All Blues6
Catie BensonPropLife West Gladiatrix17
Stacey BridgesSecond RowBeantown Rugby36
Kaitlyn BroughtonBack ThreeAtlanta Harlequins3
Bitsy CairnsBack RowLife West Gladiatrix8
Gabby CantornaFlyhalfGlendale Merlins3
Jennine DuncanBack ThreeSeattle Saracens2
Megan FosterFullbackSan Diego Surfers5
Misha GreenBack RowNew York Rugby0
McKenzie HawkinsFlyhalfLindenwood University3
Emily HenrichCenterDartmouth College2
Evan HoeseWingBerkeley All Blues1
Katana HowardFlyhalfTwin City Amazons0
Nick JamesPropHouston Athletic6
Bailey JohnsonSecond RowTwin City Amazons0
Katie JohnsonBack RowTwin City Amazons0
Rachel JohnsonBack RowOregon Sports Union3
Joanna KitlinskiHookerGlendale Merlins8
Cortney KuehlCenterAtlanta Harlequins0
Bulou MataitogaFullbackBerkeley All Blues0
Azniv NalbandianPropPenn State University3
Mary Jane PasiolesHalfbackCentral Washington University0
Christiane PheilBack RowAtlanta Harlequins8
Kat RamageHalf BackDartmouth College0
Megan RomPropLife University2
Kimber RozierCenterBeantown Rugby30
Kristine SommerSecond RowHarlequins / Seattle Saracens7
Kelsi StockertBack ThreeUnattached8
McKenna StrongSecond RowLindenwood University1
Finau TamaivenaNo 8Seattle Saracens1
Joyce TaufaHookerLindenwood University3
Alycia WashingtonSecond RowNew York Rugby17
Carly WatersHalfbackNew York Rugby2
Kate Zackary (C)Back RowSan Diego Surfers9

Women’s Eagles Staff

General Manager of Women’s HP | Emilie Bydwell
Head Coach | Rob Cain
Assistant Coach | Richard Ashfield
Assistant Coach | Kate Daley
Assistant Coach | Jamie Burke
Assistant Coach & Athlete Mentor | Jenny Lui
Head of Physical Performance | Ian Jones
Head Performance Analyst | David Gardner
Head Athletic Trainer | Bri Sparks
Assistant Athletic Trainer | Katherine Henry
Team Doctor | Terrence Cronin
Women’s HP Operations Manager | Liz Strohecker

Women’s Eagles Tiered Player Pool

  • Performance Squad + Women’s Sevens Residency
  • Extended Squad
  • Watch List

Women’s Eagles Age-Grade Pathway

  • High School All-Americans
  • Junior All-Americans
  • Collegiate All-Americans


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