USA Women’s coach Pete Steinberg has unveiled a squad of 55 players he believes are in the mix to make the final squad for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 in France.
The door isn’t yet closed for anyone not selected in the squad, but it also allows Steinberg and his coaching team to have more time to interact with the players expected to make the final cut for the showpiece event.
“We’ve established these players in prior camps and games over the past few years as potentially being contributors for us in the World Cup,” explained Steinberg. “These are athletes who we believe have the ability to be World Cup-ready in 300 days.
“Despite us naming this core group, we still want to give a chance to those ‘on-the-cusp’ players, to show us how they have improved since the last round of Eagle Training Centre camps.
“We are also looking for the athletes that haven’t put their hands up yet. We will always look for players that can create competition within the programme.
“We need to know what the players are capable of and how they perform under pressure. We plan on providing players with all of the competition they need in order to be prepared for the World Cup. This also gives us a great deal of time to understand each player and know their tendencies and abilities.”
Tentative preparations for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 include eight Test matches along with six intra-squad scrimmages. The high-level competition is based on efforts to have the Women’s Eagles performing at top capacity from the opening match.
“With 12 teams in three pools of four at the World Cup, it will be critical for the team to start quickly and playing Test matches is the only way to make sure we are prepared,” Steinberg said.
The Women’s Eagles automatically qualified for France 2014 after finishing in the top six and will be joined in the tournament by New Zealand, England, Australia, France, Canada, Ireland, Wales, Spain, Samoa, South Africa, and Kazakhstan.
The Black Ferns will be looking to win a fifth consecutive title in France, while for the Women’s Eagles the target is to end a 16-year absence from the title decider, having not reached a final since 1998 when they lost 44-12 to New Zealand.
Women’s Eagles player pool for WRWC 2014
Sadie Anderson, Katy Augustyn, Libby Berg, Amelia Bizer, Sharon Blaney, Megan Bonny, Phoebe Boone, Sylvia Braaten, Rebecca Brafman, Francine Bray, Stacey Bridges, Anna Brown, Jamie Burke, Emilie Bydwell, Elena Cantorna, Ryan Carlyle, Erica Cavanaugh, Sarah Chobot, Jessica Davis, Lauren Daly, Melanie Denham, Kate Daley, Katie Dowty, Carmen Farmer, Elizabeth Fierman, Amanda Kingzett, Molly Kinsella, Joanna Kitlinski, Ashley Kmiecik, Tess Kohanski, Lynelle Kugler, Jennifer Lui, Nathalie Marchino, Helen Rose Miesner, Laura Miller, Katie O’Malley, Deven Owsiany, Samantha Pankey, Anne Peterson, Jillion Potter, Naima Reddick, Christy Ringgenberg, Hope Rogers, Kimber Rozier, Amanda Street, Hannah Stolba, Jocelyn Tseng, Shaina Turley, Emily Van Gulik, Kittery Wagner, Sarah Walsh, Sarah Wilson, Caroline White, Jessica Wooden, Kristin Zdanczewicz