Captain Kate Zackary returns for final 2024 Pacific Four Series match against Australia

Wed, May 15, 2024, 7:40 AM
by Taylor Dean
USA Rugby
USA Rugby

Head Coach Sione Fukofuka announced today the 23 players rostered to run out against Australia in the USA Women's Eagles' final test of the 2024 Pacific Four Series. Captain Kate Zackary returns from injury to lead the group, with Rachel Johnson and Tess Feury named vice captains.

Zackary comes in to the left flanker position, and McKenzie Hawkins returns as flyhalf after missing last week's match due to injury. Coming off losses against Canada and New Zealand, the USA will be focusing in on the Australia match to secure a win and inch closer to WXV 1 later this year.

The USA and Australia's last matchup resulted in a 17-58 win for the Wallaroos. Coming off a loss to Canada last week, Australia will be just as determined to take a win on Friday. USA v Australia kicks off Friday, May 17, at 2:55 am ET (Thursday night), live on Peacock.

The 2024 Pacific Four Series is the USA’s first stop on the road to 2025 World Cup qualification. The top three teams from the Pacific Four Series will head to WXV 1 in Ottawa, while the fourth-ranked team will head to WXV 2 in South Africa. 

Comments from Head Coach Sione Fukofuka:

"We are excited to welcome Kate back into the team and into her role as captain. Rachel Johnson has done an outstanding job at leading the team in her absence, and that experience, with Kate's return we feel will be a real point of difference. McKenzie Hawkins returns from her injury to take the game driver role and adds real confidence to the team with her calm and composed approach to the game.

We have spent the week focused on our ability to create opportunities by maintaining possession, taking away their time and space with our connected line speed, and putting the source of the ball under pressure at set piece time.

Australia are fifth in the world and have come off the strong end to 2023, so we respect their ability and the threats they have, as well as their new coaching staff and the changes they are making. Both teams are acutely aware that WXV and World Cup qualification are on the line, so it will be a really good contest between two very motivated sides."

Comments from Captain Kate Zackary:

"We have a big task ahead this weekend and I’m looking forward to being back on the team sheet for it. Our leadership group has done a fantastic job guiding this ship, and pushing the standards in training.

The team has been training extremely hard the last few weeks. It’s been amazing watching them grind each day, and grow as a team. Sione and the coaching staff are challenging the players, and helping us find that next gear.

We know what’s on the line this weekend, not just the desire to win, but to stay in the hunt for the World Cup and WX1. The team is ready for the challenge we face, Australia is chasing the same qualification opportunity, so we have to start fast and maintain our quality of play for 80. It will be a duel to the last minute, and we can’t wait to rip into the match."

USA Women's Eagles Roster | USA v Australia | 2024 Pacific Four Series
Name Club Test Caps
1. Hope Rogers Exeter Chiefs 46
2. Kathryn Treder Loughborough Lightning 19
3. Charli Jacoby Queensland Reds 27
4. Hallie Taufoou Loughborough Lightning 16
5. Erica Jarrell Sale Sharks 8
6. Kate Zackary (C) Ealing Trailfinders 36
7. Georgie Perris-Redding Sale Sharks 13
8. Rachel Johnson (VC) Exeter Chiefs 28
9. Olivia Ortiz Exeter Chiefs 19
10. McKenzie Hawkins Colorado Gray Wolves 14
11. Lotte Clapp Saracens 15
12. Gabby Cantorna Exeter Chiefs 27
13. Atumata Hingano USA Sevens
14. Bulou Mataitoga Loughborough Lightning 16
15. Tess Feury (VC) Leicester Tigers 25
16. Paige Stathopoulos Beantown RFC 7
17. Alivia Leatherman Notre Dame College 2
18. Keia Mae Sagapolu Leicester Tigers 8
19. Rachel Ehrecke Colorado Gray Wolves 12
20. Freda Tafuna Lindenwood University 7
21. Taina Tukuafu Lindenwood University 8
22. Katana Howard Sale Sharks 19
23. Emily Henrich Unattached 15

USA Women's Eagles Staff | USA v New Zealand | 2024 Pacific Four Series

Head of Women’s High Performance | Brandon Sparks

Head Coach | Sione Fukofuka

Assistant Coach | Ray Barkwill

Assistant Coach | Melodie Bosman

Head of Physical Performance | Sylvia Braaten

Lead Analysis | Caitlin Singletary

Operations Assistant | Lindsay Wilson

Team Doctor | Dr. Rebecca Rodriguez

Athletic Trainer | Emily Lauer

Physiotherapist | Cerys Preston

USA Women’s Eagles 2024 Schedule

USA v South Africa

38-17 (W)

TRIES | G. Perris-Redding (3), K. Treder, E. Henrich, C. Clapp

CONV | G. Cantorna (4)

RugbyPass TV

2024 Pacific Four Series

USA v Canada

7-50 (L)

TRIES | G. Perris-Redding

CONV | G. Cantorna

Peacock TV

USA v New Zealand

5-57 (L)

TRIES | F. Tafuna

Peacock TV

USA v Australia | May 17 | 1:55 am ET (Thursday night)

AAMI PARK | Melbourne, Australia