Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
USA Rugby Women’s National Team Head Coach Kathy Flores has officially named her roster for the Women’s Rugby World Cup opening match against Kazakhstan.
The match will be played at the world-class Surrey Sports Park in Guildford. Kickoff is at 2:15 p.m. GMT (9:15 a.m. EST) on Friday August 20.
Kazakhstan advanced to the Women’s Rugby World Cup after defeating Japan in the Asian qualifying tournament. The U.S., after automatic qualification, has undergone months of preparation including a full immersion residency camp at Bowdoin College in Maine and an early UK arrival to help with time zone difference and weather acclimation.
“We have spent a great amount of effort training and challenging each other and we are greatly looking forward to testing ourselves against World class competition,” Flores said. “Kazakhstan will be physical and unpredictable, so we have worked on our ability to make quick and efficient adjustments. This match will be all about making necessary transitions at ideal moments.”
“This will be a hard, physical match and we are looking forward to coming out with pace and setting the bar high for this Women’s Rugby World Cup,” said USA Captain, Jamie Burke.
Burke is slated to start at loosehead prop with Lisa Butts at hooker and Naima Reddick at tighthead. Beckett Royce and Sharon Blaney fuel the engine room at lock, while blindside flanker Phaidra Knight and openside Kristin Zdanczewicz look to counter Kazakhstan’s physicality with controlled aggression in the contact area and breakdown. Supporting their efforts at number eight with consistent pressure in contact is Melanie Denham.
The backline is anchored by experienced WRWC veterans and a backline with explosive speed and scoring capability. Kim Magrini will direct traffic at scrumhalf and her halfback partner will be Christy Ringgenberg who will play at flyhalf. Nathalie Marchino, Victoria Volayan will pair up at on the wings and Ashley Kmiecik will complete the back three at fullback.
In the midfield, Emilie Bydwell and Amy Daniels will look to create free-flowing sequences in the centers.
The USA vs. Kazakhstan match follows Canada vs. Scotland on Pitch 2 of the Surrey Sports Complex and prefaces an important Pool B matchup of England vs. Ireland on Pitch 1.
For broadcast information on the Women’s Rugby World Cup visit http://www.rwcwomens.com .
USA Roster vs. Kazakhstan