USA vs Canada clash headlines first round of 2023 Pacific Four Series as Women’s Eagles roster is confirmed

Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 2:01 PM
by Calder Cahill.

With a notch in the win column following the first match of 2023, the USA Women’s Eagles are hitting their stride as Canada awaits for the opening round of the Pacific Four Series.

Last competing with the North American foe in a back-to-back during the Rugby World Cup, Canada have the win-loss edge over the past few years, a trend this new roster of young talent hope to reverse. Interim Head Coach Rich Ashfield announced his match day 23 on Thursday, with a few changes from the Spain fixture set to bring pace to the Canadians. Captain Kate Zackary again leads the charge with University of Central Washington’s Tiara A’au in reserve, targeting her USA Eagles debut. USA vs Canada kicks off at 11:00AM ET, streaming LIVE on FloRugby.

Head Coach Rich Ashfield’s comments ahead of the Canada clash:

“We were obviously happy to get the win against Spain last week but we understand we made very hard work of it. Our accuracy needs to improve and we know that some small adjustments can hopefully lead to some big gains. We capped 8 new players last week and they all did well and have learned a lot from the experience. We have had a good week of practice and think we definitely have the strengths in the squad to cause Canada a lot of problems.”

Match Preview

Ashfield roster is highlighted by 14 position changes from last week’s warm up with Spain. A few reserves swap with starters while Joanna Kitlinski, Alycia Washington, Rachel Johnson, Rachel Ehrecke, Lotte Clapp, Tess Feury and A’au check in for their first match of 2023. USA Sevens Residency athlete and 2023 USA Club 7s Dream Team selection, Autumn Czaplicki remains in the back field as a threat on the outside. Competing with the Women’s U23s in Ottawa last summer, Czaplicki has shown to be a lethal mix of agility and power. Scoring two gain line tries last week in classic fashion, veteran Hope Rogers will again pull on the No. 1 jersey.

Canada opened their 2023 campaign with a convincing 66-7 win over South Africa in Madrid last Saturday, with a number of core Rugby World Cup 2021 names and three debuts of their own. Despite losses in the last two meetings this past fall, the USA proved they have the ability to move the ball against Canada, where closing out possessions when beyond the 22-meter line and minimizing mistakes will keep this match close. In New Zealand during the Rugby World Cup, the Canadians showed their strength lies in quickly taking advantage of small errors with a few turnover tries to note. With new beginnings for both teams on display in Madrid, fans can expect a hard hitting 80 minutes on Saturday.

1. Hope Rogers Exeter Chiefs 42
2. Joanna Kitlinski Sale Sharks 24
3. Catie Benson Sale Sharks 33
4. Evelyn Ashenbrucker San Diego Surfers 8
5. Alycia Washington Sale Sharks 25
6. Rachel Ehrecke DMP Sharks 3
7. Rachel Johnson Exeter Chiefs 18
8. Kate Zackary (C) Exeter Chiefs 28
9. Carly Waters Sale Sharks 17
10. McKenzie Hawkins Colorado Greywolves 9
11. Lotte Clapp Saracens 8
12. Gabby Cantorna Exeter Chiefs 19
13. Eti Haungatau Sale Sharks 9
14. Autumn Czaplicki USA Sevens 1
15. Tess Feury DMP Sharks 15
16. Jett Hayward Life West Gladiatrix 1
17. Maya Learned Gloucester-Hartpury 10
18. Tiara A'au* Univ. Central Washington USA Debut
19. Megan Neyen Beantown RFC 1
20. Georgie Perris-Redding Sale Sharks 6
21. Olivia Ortiz DMP Sharks 14
22. Kristin Bitter Dartmouth College 1
23. Bulou Mataitoga Loughborough Lightning 9
USA Women's Eagles Traveling Staff

Head Coach | Rich Ashfield

Assistant Coach | Katie Dowty

Assistant Coach | Jamie Burke

Strength & Conditioning | Sylvia Braaten

Head Athletic Trainer | Katherine Henry

Team Doctor | Chau Bui

Athletic Trainer | Anna Unnasch

Video Analyst | Callum Howells

Team Manager | Tim Westwood