USA Women’s Eagles kick off 2024 with warm up match against South Africa

Tue, Mar 12, 2024, 3:00 PM
by Taylor Dean
USA Rugby
USA Rugby

The traveling squad heads to the UK for a March 30th matchup with #13 ranked South Africa before heading home to the Pacific Four Series kick off in Los Angeles, then on to New Zealand and Australia. Kickoff time and broadcast details for USA vs South Africa will be confirmed soon. 

Kate Zackary leads the Eagles as captain for the new season, as Hope Rogers returns to the roster for the first time since playing Canada in the Pacific Four Series last April, coming off a long injury recovery. Nikki Kenyon travels with the Eagles for the first time since 2018. Reemerging onto the Eagles radar after some time with PR7s, Kenyon currently plays in the WPL with Life West. 

Neariah Weathers also returns to the National Team camp after a rugby hiatus and celebrating her first child. She also had a standout performance with PR7s last year. 

Three athletes will have an opportunity to earn their first cap with the Eagles program: Kelsie O’Brien, Amanda Berta, and Cassidy Bargel. 

The USA have played South Africa five times since 2009, winning four of those meetings. Their last matchup was during the 2013 Nations Cup in Glendale, Colorado, where the Eagles took a 61-5 win on home soil. South Africa played in the WXV 2 competition with the USA last fall, but the teams did not get a chance to play each other in the window. 

USA v South Africa kickoff time and broadcast details will be confirmed soon. 

The USA v South Africa match will serve as a warmup ahead of the 2024 Pacific Four Series which gets underway with USA v Canada on home soil. The border battle will take place Sunday, April 28, at DignityHealth Sports Park in Los Angeles. Tickets are available now at

Comments from Head Coach Sione Fukofuka: 

“The team offers a nice balance of experience and youth, who the coaching staff are excited to see connect and play together. We have worked hard to select on form and look at all players in the extended player pool in order to select the strongest squad available to play a quality team in South Africa. 

The Talent ID and Assessment camp in Charlotte did exactly what it was intended to do. It provided a new coaching staff the opportunity to work with the US-based players and get a first hand view of the talent in the extended squad. There have clearly been some players that took this opportunity and have been selected to potentially make their debuts, or have returned to the team after time away. 

As a test match opponent we respect South Africa and their ability, but our focus is on us and establishing the core systems and patterns that we as a team will look to build on into 2024. We want to play a USA brand of rugby that highlights the strengths of the team through their physicality and enjoyment of the collision, and adds layers to that by using the ball, being skillful and making good decisions across the field. Combinations and our ability to connect and align across the UK camp will be a focus, however first and foremost we want to establish a strong foundation by emphasizing our core skills and work rate.”

USA Women’s Eagles Traveling Roster* | USA v South Africa
Name Club Test Caps
Alivia Leatherman Notre Dame College 1
Amanda Berta PR7s Experts Yet to debut
Bulou Mataitoga Loughborough Lightning 13
Cassidy Bargell Beantown RFC Yet to debut
Catie Benson Sale Sharks 40
Charli Jacoby Queensland Reds 24
Emily Henrich Unattached 12
Erica Jarrell Sale Sharks 5
Gabby Cantorna Exeter Chiefs 24
Georgie Perris-Redding Sale Sharks 10
Hallie Taufoou Loughborough Lightning 14
Hope Rogers Exeter Chiefs 43
Jenny Kronish Beantown RFC 12
Katana Howard Sale Sharks 17
Kate Zackary Ealing Trailfinders 35
Kathryn Treder Loughborough Lightning 16
Keia Mae Sagapolu Leicester Tigers 6
Kelsie O’Brien Colorado Grey Wolves Yet to debut
Kristin Bitter Life West 3
Lotte Clapp Saracens 13
McKenzie Hawkins Colorado Grey Wolves 12
Megan Neyen Beantown RFC 2
Neariah Weathers Life West 1
Nikki Kenyon Seattle Rugby Club 2
Olivia Ortiz Exeter Chiefs 16
Paige Stathopoulos Beantown RFC 4
Rachel Ehrecke Colorado Grey Wolves 10
Rachel Johnson Exeter Chiefs 25
Tahlia Brody Leicester Tigers 7
Tess Feury Leicester Tigers 22

*This list of players is the touring squad for USA v South Africa, and initial player pool ahead of PAC4 with more player additions expected as the home event in LA approaches.

USA Women’s Eagles Staff | USA v South Africa

Head Coach | Sione Fukofuka 

Assistant Coach | Ray Barkwill 

Strength & Conditioning | Sylvia Braaten 

Operations Director | Sara Al-Aziz

Analyst | Caitlin Singletary 

USA Women’s Eagles 2024 Schedule

USA v South Africa

Saturday, March 30

Trailfinders Sports Ground | Ealing, ENG

Streaming TBD

2024 Pacific Four Series

USA v Canada

Sunday, April 28

DignityHealth Sports Park | Los Angeles, CA

Tickets »

USA v New Zealand

FMG Stadium | Hamilton, New Zealand

USA v Australia

AAMI PARK | Melbourne, Australia