Rob Cain announces match day 23 as USA Women's Eagles prepare for quarterfinal rematch with Canada

The USA Women’s Eagles find themselves rallied from their pool play loss against Canada and are prepared to face their neighbors to the north for a second time in the Rugby World Cup 2021 quarterfinals.

Despite a 29-14 score line on Sunday, the USA squad showed flashes of light and have applied those lessons through the week’s training to bring into this marquee rematch. After finishing seventh and going 1-2 in pool play, sealing the team’s fate for a second border battle, Rob Cain’s squad wholeheartedly believe they have the opportunity to come away with a win and qualify for semifinals. USA vs. Canada kicks off Saturday, October 29, at 11:30PM ET, streaming LIVE on Peacock with a re-air on CNBC, Sunday at 1PM ET.

Match Preview

The Eagle’s showdown against Canada last weekend exposed some areas of improvement, but also gave the USA insight on opportunities to strike. Canada owned possession for most of the game, but the USA’s defensive tactics shined through 78 minutes of the game, where an expired time try lead to the larger 29-14 loss. The USA did well to spread their defense and finish tackles against a potent Canada offense, something the squad will look to keep momentum on and improve more in their offensive intent. The group continues to focus on effective set pieces, where the scrum has been a shining light so far in New Zealand and line outs remain a key work-on. Increasing possession time, particularly in opposing territory will be key to countering Canada’s strong line out rate just the same.

Captain Kate Zackary on facing Canada for a second time in New Zealand:

“We’ve played them so many times, we’ve typically come on the losing end of that, so our time is coming. We’re building something special and if that’s next week then it’s our week so it’s time to shine. Happy to do this again, that’s pretty much it.”

Sunday’s game was the sixth-straight win for Canada against the USA, but the Eagles performed better than the last match up in June and proved this group can organize to beat the higher-ranked team. The implications of a quarterfinal and the USA's determination to flip the recent script of results only adds to the tenacity this team will display as they target a Rugby World Cup semifinal. The squad will have similar goals as last week in strengthening defense and putting out strong set pieces, which will be a determining factor in the final results.

Head coach Rob Cain has selected the same 23 starters and energizers from last week’s game for the quarterfinal matchup against Canada. Alev Kelter, who scored critical tries in the games against Canada and Japan, remains in her position at Center. Hope Rogers starts again as loosehead prop and is on track to earn her 41st cap, solely securing her place as the second most-capped player with the USA Women’s Eagles, just 10 behind US Rugby Hall of Famer Jamie Burke, who is serving as assistant coach in New Zealand.

Canada Head Coach Kevin Rouet noted the USA’s ability to become a dangerous matchup when the squad plays as one. The USA will look to close gaps in their defensive line and improve on their lineouts and breakdowns. Ultimately, this USA ground has a good formula defensively, but will strive to create more offensive opportunities and finish drives, or come away with points. With another border battle under their belts, both teams have a strong se nse of each other’s strengths and weaknesses, making this Saturday’s rematch a game not to miss.

Head Coach Rob Cain ahead of the World Cup Quarter Final match:

“Last week was full of drama, big collisions with lots of exciting rugby, and some key learnings for both teams who share an intense rivalry. We very much expect this weekend to offer even more and we know we will have to be even better, as too will Canada. Reaching the quarterfinal of a Rugby World Cup, especially with many of the challenges we have faced, is a great achievement in itself.

We are happy to be at this stage of the tournament, but we aren't satisfied just yet. Sunday is a real opportunity for this group. Each week with the more time we have had together, we have shown more in each performance. We are under no illusions at the task at hand but we know exactly what is needed to reverse the result from last weekend. We can’t wait to continue to represent the whole USA Rugby family on such a great world stage. Thank you for everyone's messages of support. They really do mean the world to the players. Please keep them coming."


1. Hope Rogers   
Chambersburg, PA   
Exeter Chiefs   
2. Joanna Kitlinski   
Clinton Twp., MI   
Sale Sharks   
3. Nick James   
Dublin, TX   
Sale Sharks   
4. Kristine Sommer   
Seattle, WA   
Seattle Rugby Club   
5. Evelyn Ashenbrucker   

Southern Humboldt County, CA
San Diego Surfers   
6. Kathryn Johnson   
Minneapolis, MN   
Twin Cities Amazons   
7. Rachel Johnson   
Portland, OR   
Exeter Chiefs   

8. Kate Zackary (C)
Wichita, KS   
Exeter Chiefs   
9. Carly Waters   
Downingtown, PA   
Sale Sharks   
10. Gabby Cantorna   
State College, PA   
Exeter Chiefs   
11. Lotte Clapp   
Welwyn Garden, ENG   
12. Alev Kelter   
Eagle River, AK   
13. Eti Haungatau   
Sacramento, CA   
Lindenwood University   
14. Jennine Detiveaux   
Jonesborough, TN   
Exeter Chiefs   
15. Tess Feury   
Denville, NJ   
16. Kathryn Treder   
Anchorage, AK   
Beantown RFC   
17. Catie Benson   
Buffalo, NY   
Sale Sharks   
18. Charli Jacoby   
Chicago, IL   
Exeter Chiefs   
19. Jenny Kronish   
New York, NY   
Harlequins (ENG)   
20. Elizabeth Cairns   
Downingtown, PA   
Life West Gladiatrix   
21. Bridget Kahele   
Aldie, VA   
Beantown RFC   
22. Katana Howard   
Hopkins, MN   
Sale Sharks   
23. Meya Bizer   
Woodlands, TX   
Beantown RFC   


Head Coach | Rob Cain

Assistant Coach | Jamie Burke

Assistant Coach | Martin Haag

Assistant Coach | Kate Daley

Head Strength & Conditioning | Sylvia Braaten

Head Athletic Trainer | Hilary Stepansky

Assistant Athletic Trainer | Janie Kluempers

Team Doctor | Dr Leigh Romero

Team Masseuse | Cheniek Den Heyer

Lead Analyst | Callum Howells

Team Media Manager | Taylor Dean

Mental Performance | Tracy Carrington

Team Manager | Annemarie Farrell

Team Manager | Steve Downie

Remote Support | Jenny Lui & Rich Ashfield


USA vs ITALY | 10-22 (L)

Northland Events Center, Whangarei, NZL

Watch live replay on Peacock

USA vs JAPAN | 30-17 (W)

Northland Events Center, Whangarei, NZL

Watch live replay on Peacock

USA vs CANADA | 29-14 (L)

Waitakere Stadium, Auckland, NZL

Watch live replay on Peacock


Saturday, Oct 29 11:30 PM ET

Watch LIVE on Peacock

Waitakere Stadium, Auckland, NZL