The USA Rugby Women’s Eagle Sevens team is preparing for the Hong Kong Sevens, its third tournament of the 2011-2012 season and the second stop of the IRB Women’s Challenge Cup, a developing global women’s sevens series.
Following a stellar run to the Cup finals in the USA Women’s Sevens International Invitational in February (the USA went 4-1), USA Head Coach Ric Suggitt is looking forward to the Hong Kong tournament and seeing the development of the women’s sevens series.
“Although we arrive in Hong Kong late in the week, we will enter the tournament in good shape and good spirits. We hope, as always, to be very competitive as we test the much-improved support system being put in place for international competitions of this magnitude,” Suggitt said.
Twenty athletes are currently in camp at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista with the 12-player traveling squad departing for Hong Kong on March 20. Suggitt has made only three changes to the traveling team that ran out for the USA in Las Vegas.
Jane Paar, Kimber Rozier, and Jillion Potter made the cut after playing for the USA developmental team, the Stars and Stripes, in Vegas.
Five of the players going to Hong Kong; Deven Owsiany, Potter, Rozier, Vanesha McGee and Katie Dowty are under full-time training contracts with USA Rugby and represent the nucleus of players who will lead the USA towards the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
McGee was electric in Las Vegas, scoring six tries over the course of the tournament, and will be a real handful for the opposition in Hong Kong, particularly when she has ball in hand.
Amy Daniels, Beth Black, Lauren Hoeck, and Victoria Folayan were central to the Eagles’ success in Vegas and will help guide some of the younger players on the team. Irene Gardner has also emerged as a solid and dependable option for Suggitt.
Also competing in the tournament are Australia, England, Canada, Netherlands, Russia, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Tunisia and Spain.
USA Women’s Eagle Sevens | Hong Kong Camp Roster
Amy Daniels (Beantown; Gratz, Pa.)
Deven Owsiany (USA Rugby; Royersford, Pa.)
Jillion Potter (USA Rugby; Denver, Colo.)
Katie Dowty (USA Rugby; San Ramon, Calif.)
Beth Black (NOVA; Warrenton, Va.)
Lauren Hoeck (NOVA; Cold Spring, Ky.)
Vanesha McGee (USA Rugby; Flemington, N.J.)
Jane Paar (Navy; Wauwatosa, Wis.)
Christina Mastrangelo (Chicago North Shore; Chicago, Ill.)
Irene Gardner (Berkeley All-Blues; San Francisco, Calif.)
Kimber Rozier (USA Rugby; Raleigh, N.C.)
Victoria Folayan (Berkeley All-Blues; Oakland, Calif.)