Thirteen set for USA Women's Sevens in Hong Kong

Thu, Mar 28, 2024, 12:46 AM
by Taylor Dean

The USA Women’s Sevens head to Hong Kong for the next stop on the 2024 SVNS, with eyes on a podium finish as the finale tournament in Madrid nears. 

Kaylen Thomas is set to make her USA Rugby debut, while Jaz Gray makes her return following a full recovery from injury sustained earlier this year. Co-Captain Naya Tapper will remain in Chula Vista as she recovers from injury.

A third place finish in Los Angeles put the USA on the podium for the first time this season, and they’ll look to further improve on those results in Hong Kong. Several weeks of identifying areas of improvement give the Highwomen their next chance at SVNS gold. 

Comments from Head Coach Emilie Bydwell: 

“We were really happy with our performance in LA; it built off the first four tournaments. We were playing the type of rugby we wanted to play and met a lot of the objectives we had for the first third of the year. Hong Kong and Singapore are more opportunities to build and improve on things we identified from LA. 

We’re excited to have the opportunity cap 19-year-old Kaylen Thomas, who has gotten better every month, every week, and every day to earn this selection.” 

Tournament Preview 

The Highwomen begin their Hong Kong tour against Spain. The USA dominated on home soil against the team in LA, so Spain will be looking to take more control against a strong USA side. Next, the USA meets Japan for the first time since a 26-14 USA victory in Vancouver. Japan will be eager to close that score gap. 

Finally, the North American rivalry continues with a matchup against Canada. Having won their two home games in LA against Canada, the USA will look to continue the win streak to punch a ticket to the quarterfinals. 

USA Women’s Sevens Roster | 2024 Hong Kong SVNS
Name Position HSBC Tournaments
2. Ilona Maher Center / Prop 27
3. Kayla Canett Flyhalf 26
5. Alev Kelter Center / Prop 44
6. Alena Olsen Scrumhalf 21
10. Steph Rovetti Scrum Half / Fly Half 13
11. Kris Thomas Hooker / Prop 42
12. Kristi Kirshe Prop / Hooker 23
13. Sarah Levy Hooker 8
17. Spiff Sedrick Center 17
19. Kaylen Thomas Wing Debut
22. Sammy Sullivan Prop / Hooker 11
23. Lauren Doyle (C) Fly Half 43
99. Jaz Gray Wing 12

USA Women's Sevens Traveling Staff | Hong Kong SVNS

Head Coach | Emilie Bydwell

Assistant Coach | Zack Test

Strength & Conditioning | Trey Ford

Athletic Trainer | Nicole Titmas

USA Women's Sevens Hong Kong Schedule

Thursday, April 4

v Spain | 10:53 pm ET

Friday, April 5

v Japan | 1:57 am ET (Thursday night)

v Canada | 9:53 pm ET

Saturday, April 6

Quarterfinals begin 3:34 am ET

Sunday, April 7

Semifinal and final rounds starting 12:54 am ET