The USA Women's Sevens rugby team will report to the Olympic Training Centre in Chula Vista, California on Friday for a training camp ahead of the first ever IRB-sanctioned women’s tournament to be held in Dubai on 2-3 December.
USA will be joined in the women's draw by Australia, South Africa, Canada, England, Brazil, China and Spain and will compete for the IRB Women’s Sevens Challenge Cup, which is being played alongside the second round of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
The squad of 14 that head coach Ric Suggitt has assembled is a highly skilled group, four of whom - Kelly Griffin, Emilie Bydwell, Katie Dowty, and Nathalie Marchino - were among the top 10 try-scorers at the highest level women's club competition in the United States, the Women's Premier League. The foursome scored a combined 31 tries in the WPL regular season.
An exciting addition to the USA team is former soccer star and Olympic gold medalist, Natasha Kai. Kai is a dominant rugby player, gaining recognition of her rugby skills with the Hawaii Select side earlier this year in the Women's Las Vegas Sevens tournament.
Some up-and-coming college stars like speedster Rebekah Siebach, Kimber Rozier, and Deven Owsiany will join the team at camp after playing for the USA Women's Developmental sevens side at this summer's Emirates Airline USA Rugby Women's All-Star Sevens Championship.
Siebach, Rozier, and Owsiany were joined by Kaelene Lundstrum on the Developmental Squad and the four youngsters combined for 22 tries in the All-Star Sevens tournament.
USA Women's training camp squad
Beth Black (NOVA)
Emilie Bydell (San Diego Surfers)
Amy Daniels (Beantown)
Katie Dowty (Beantown)
Corey Fredericks (New Orleans)
Irene Gardner (Berkeley All Blues)
Kelly Griffin (Berkeley All Blues)
Natasha Kai (Hawaiian Select)
Pam Kosanke (Chicago North Shore)
Kaelene Lundstrum (Twin Cities Amazons)
Nathalie Marchino (Berkeley All Blues)
Deven Owsiany (Penn State)
Kimber Rozier (UNC- Chapel Hill)
Rebekah Siebach (Women's Cougar Rugby)
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- Listen to this week's Total Rugby show
- 21 October - Jonny Wilkinson on life after rugby
- 20 October - Australia player Emilee Cherry looks ahead to the start of the Women's Sevens World Series
- 18 October - Cameron Clark on playing for Australia sevens
- 17 October - Sweden's Jennifer Sundqvist on 30 years of Women's rugby in the country
- 17 October - Gold Coast Sevens review
- 15 October - Martin Johnson's 'Tackle These'
- 14 October - Martin Johnson and Chris Robshaw on leadership