Refreshed USA Women’s Sevens Squad heads to Perth SVNS focused on moving up the ranks

USA Rugby
USA Rugby

Refreshed and refocused following the holiday break, the USA Women’s Sevens squad are back in action as they head to Perth SVNS, the next stop on the 2024 HSBC SVNS.

Competition kicks off Friday, January 26. All action will be available on RugbyPass TV, with semifinals and finals also live on Peacock

Captain Naya Tapper leads the squad of 13 to Australia as they zone in on moving up the SVNS ranks and improving on a fourth-place finish in Cape Town. Co-captain Lauren Doyle will remain in Chula Vista for the Perth event due to an injury sustained during training. 

Having sat out Dubai and Cape Town due to injury, Kristi Kirshe hits the pitch for the first time this season. Summer Harris-Jones steps in for the first time this season, following a stint with the Women’s Eagles in the PAC4 and WXV 2 tournaments. Steph Rovetti and Sarah Levy also join the series roster for the first time this season. Levy last played on the series in Australia last season. 

Comments from Head Coach Emilie Bydwell heading into Perth: 

“We are really looking forward to getting back into competition following the holiday reset. Dubai and Cape Town gave of a great picture of the challenges coming our way this season. We’ve taken that opportunity to look at not only how we respond but what adjustments we need to make, and what standards we prioritize in order to ensure that we are able to play the ‘USA way’ to empower the players to express themselves. 

The competition within the training environment continues to demand that players consistently take action and put their best foot forward and we are excited at how Sarah, Summer, and Steph have performed over the last block to earn selection for this competition. As we know, this season is all about how we build and take the opportunities to be at our best together. Our pool in Perth will challenge us in different ways. We will go one game at a time as we work to refine our process and ignite our strengths.” 

Tournament Preview

The Eagles commence their 2024 campaign in Perth against Ireland. With the teams ranked sixth and seventh following the first two SVNS tournaments, this will be the first time they meet on the pitch this season. Their last meeting was a 15-14 USA win in Hong Kong last year. 

The USA’s second matchup in Australia is against Japan, who also last played the Eagles in Hong Kong. Sitting at the 10th place rank, Japan will have the same fire as the Eagles to improve their placement in the tournament and series overall. 

The final Pool C matchup will be a rematch from the Cape Town bronze final against New Zealand. The 2023 Series Champions took the bronze medal in a 7-19 win in Cape Town, so the Eagles will focus on reversing the score and taking away a win to earn a trip to the quarterfinals. 

USA Women’s Sevens Roster | 2024 Perth SVNS
Name Position HSBC Tournaments
2. Ilona Maher Center 24
3. Kayla Canett Flyhalf 23
4. Nicole Heavirland Hooker/Scrumhalf 36
5. Alev Kelter Center 41
6. Alena Olsen Scrumhalf 18
7. Naya Tapper (C) Wing 35
10. Steph Rovetti Flyhalf/Wing 10
12. Kristi Kirshe Prop/Hooker 20
13. Sarah Levy Wing 5
17. Spiff Sedrick Center 14
22. Sammy Sullivan Prop/Wing 8
27. Summer Harris-Jones Prop/Hooker 3
99. Jaz Gray Wing 11
USA Women’s Sevens Traveling Staff | 2024 Perth SVNS

Head Coach | Emilie Bydwell

Assistant Coach | Zack Test

Strength & Conditioning | Trey Ford

Athletic Trainer | Nicole Titmas

Sports Psychologist | Peter Haberl 

USA Women’s Sevens Schedule | 2024 Perth SVNS

Friday, January 26

v Ireland | 12:32 am ET (Thursday night)

v Japan | 4:33 am ET 

v New Zealand | 10:06 pm ET 

Saturday, January 27

Knockouts begin at 1:42 am ET (Friday night)

Sunday, January 28

Knockouts continue