Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
The Women’s Rugby World Cup moves forward as the U.S. Women’s National Team prepare for Ireland at the Surrey Sports Complex in Guildford, England on Tuesday, August 24th at 4:30 p.m. GMT (11:15 a.m. EST).
Head Coach, Kathy Flores, has made changes from their successful day one appearance against Kazakhstan to match up against the dogged Irish defense.
“We expect the Irish to be extremely passionate and fight for every ball they can get, so it is important that we counter their aggression,” Flores said.
Ireland was defeated by England on day one of Women’s Rugby World Cup action with a score of 27-0. The physical and committed Irish side held strong until the final minutes giving up a late try and bonus point to the tournament hosts.
The U.S., coming off a 51-0 route of Kazakhstan, will be looking to lessen their penalty count, while continuing to deploy an explosive offensive arsenal against their second Pool B opponent.
“We are building on the positive aspects of our last match and looking forward to improving our attack, while stepping up our defense against a strong Irish side,” said captain, Ashley English.
The front row will be led by Farrah Douglas at loosehead prop, Mari Wallace at hooker, and Jamie Burke at tighthead. Locks Stacey Bridges and Beckett Royce will provide the drive needed to control the Irish scrum with assistance from blindside flanker Mel Denham and openside flanker, Kitt Wagner. Blair Groefsema will direct the back row at number eight.
The backline will continue to attack with new leadership from Claudia Braymer at scrumhalf and tournament high-scorer, Christy Ringgenberg, at flyhalf. Vanesha McGee will switch in to join Victoria Folayan on the wings. The center pairing also changes to include Melissa Kanuk at inside and Lynelle Kugler at outside.
Team captain, Ashley English, will direct the back triangle at fullback.
The USA will face Ireland as the fifth match of the day in the second round of Women’s Rugby World Cup pool play action.
To receive real-time match information follow the official USA Rugby fan updates on Twitter (@USAEaglesRugby) and Facebook.
USA v IRELAND
1. FARRAH DOUGLAS – Keystone
2. MAURIN WALLACE – Beantown
3. JAMIE BURKE – Beantown
4. STACEY BRIDGES – Texas A&M
5. BECKETT ROYCE – ORSU Rugby Club
6. MELANIE DENHAM – Beantown
7. KITTERY WAGNER – Beantown
8. BLAIR GROEFSEMA – Berkeley All-Blues
9. CLAUDIA BRAYMER – Albany Sirens
10. CHRISTY RINGGENBERG – Minnesota Valkyries
11. VICTORIA FOLAYAN – Berkeley All-Blues
12. MELISSA KANUK – Minnesota Valkyries
13. LYNELLE KUGLER – Twin Cities Amazons
14. VANESHA MCGEE – New York
15. ASHLEY ENGLISH – Berkeley All-Blues
16. LISA BUTTS – Berkeley All-Blues
17. NAIMA REDDICK – Berkeley All-Blues
18. SHARON BLANEY – Beantown
19. PHAIDRA KNIGHT – New York
20. KIM MAGRINI – Keystone
21. AMY DANIELS – Beantown
22. NATHALIE MARCHINO – Berkeley All-Blues