USA Women’s Eagles Rugby World Cup roster named as the official countdown to New Zealand begins

Neil Kennedy
Neil Kennedy

32 names have been selected by Head Coach Rob Cain to represent the United States during the Rugby World Cup 2021, playing in 2022.

With a confident mixture of Rugby World Cup debuts and veteran talent returning to the world’s biggest stage, the 6th ranked USA Women’s Eagles after a return to Test Match rugby in late 2021 are as prepared and best positioned to compete and challenge for honors in New Zealand .The selection procedure, but more importantly the development process to this point, has been a multi-year progression for Cain and his staff since first taking over as Head Coach in late 2018. Consistent connectivity with the collegiate game, Women’s Premier League and American players competing overseas has kept this pool of selected players on the rugby pitch as frequent as possible with the many challenges faced to best organize for a promising campaign in New Zealand this Fall.

Rob Cain’s comments on the Rugby World Cup squad selection, “I believe we have selected the right group, to go on and achieve the things that we are aspiring to do. To represent the team, the USA Rugby family on and off the pitch and bring this playing group identity everyone has worked hard on to life ”

“After a big development period learning what the game looked like and where we needed to be . We then spent the last 12 months looking at combinations, refining our playing identity and helping [the players] to understand what their points of difference are and how that comes out within the team. From now it’s really about having absolute clarity in your role, how your ownership and responsibility can come to the front.”

Of the 32 named, nine will return with previous Rugby World Cup experience from 2017, whereas veteran Hope Rogers will travel to Auckland for her third straight tournament after first competing in the 2014 Rugby World Cup. Rogers has shown no sign of slowing down as the Prop comes off a lengthy club season with Exeter and has been the leading try scorer for the USA in the last few test matches.

Rogers noted on her third selection saying, "Competing in my third World Cup just has me feeling an immense feeling of gratitude. Being able to play in the 2014 World Cup at 20 years old because there were people back then who believed in me, I just feel a lot of gratitude towards what I was taught by those people. It is about leaving the jersey better than you found it, so being able to pass it on to some of our young bucks [in their] first World Cup is just really exciting."

Cain added, “We’ve got a really exciting group, and the pleasing thing is to really see some of the less experienced players drive what we’re doing alongside the experienced players. It’s been great to see players get more caps these last 12 months, adding eight or nine games to allow for combinations to be created and take advantage of our opportunity windows. Now we have an opportunity to cement it.”

Captain Kate Zackary has been in the leading role with this squad since 2018 and will venture into her second Rugby World Cup this year, following in the footsteps of Tiffany Fa’ae’e who last served as skipper during the 2017 edition. Zackary brings 23 overall caps, with 16 in the Captaincy role to New Zealand. Though not an unfamiliar accountability, Zackary said, “Heading into a Rugby World Cup as Captain of the USA National Team is not something I ever expected to say, years ago I didn’t even know what rugby was, so having this opportunity is a huge honor and privilege. I look forward to representing my country, my family and play alongside some of the best players I’ve ever had the privilege of playing with. I hope we make everyone proud.”

It was anything but a normal pathway for this squad from the 2017 Rugby World Cup, with a change in leadership that started Late in this world cup cycle, global pandemic, and postponed tournament from 2021 to 2022. Additionally, with a large majority of the playing roster uprooting to the United Kingdom for more regular play, leaving family and careers to pursue the dream of a Rugby World Cup roster adds to the challenge and adversity this whole squad has come to face. With today’s announcement and the trip to New Zealand ahead, the named players will look forward to the rewarding moment for themselves, and on behalf of those unable to compete in this Rugby World Cup.

Cain added, “Selections have been getting harder these past 12 months, which is a positive sign of how far this group has come and how much our own game and standards have grown. There were some very tough calls that had to be made off the back of what we learnt from each game since November 2021 and what we saw in Atlanta . We had some really exciting conversations and of course some hard and sad conversations . Ultimately, we have to make those decisions and select a group that we feel will give us the balance we need to get the results we are all striving and working really hard to achieve. We are excited for this group in doing that.

We have been through so much as a group and I want to thank everyone who has been a part of this journey both players and support staff who have not just made their mark but also impacted on this rugby World Cup Squad group but won't be in New Zealand”

The USA will take off from Los Angeles to New Zealand on September 23 for a brief training period ahead of their first Pool match against Italy, Saturday October 8 at 7:45 PM ET, LIVE on Peacock.


Player Name Player Club RWC Experience
Alev Kelter Saracens 2017
Bridget Kahele Beantown RFC
Carly Waters Sale Sharks
Catie Benson Sale Sharks 2017
Charli Jacoby Exeter Chiefs
Charlotte "Lotte" Clapp Saracens
Elizabeth Cairns Life West Gladiatrix
Erica Jarrell Beantown RFC
Eti Haungatau Lindenwood University
Evelyn Ashenbrucker San Diego Surfers
Gabby Cantorna Exeter Chiefs
Georgie Perris-Redding Sale Sharks
Hallie Taufoou Loughborough Lightning
Hope Rogers Exeter Chiefs 2014, 2017
Jennine Detiveaux Exeter Chiefs
Jenny Kronish Harlequins (ENG)
Jett Hayward Life West Gladiatrix
Joanna Kitlinksi Sale Sharks
Jordan Matyas USA Sevens 2017
Katana Howard Sale Sharks
Kate Zackary (C) Exeter Chiefs 2017
Kathryn Johnson Twin Cities Amazons
Kathryn Treder Beantown RFC
Kristine Sommer Seattle Rugby Club 2017
Maya Learned Gloucester-Hartpury RFC
McKenzie Hawkins Life West Gladiatrix
Megan Foster Exeter Chiefs
Meya Bizer Beantown RFC 2014
Nick James Sale Sharks 2017
Olivia Ortiz Colorado Gray Wolves
Rachel Johnson Exeter Chiefs
Tess Feury Wasps 2017


Alycia Washington | Sale Sharks

Rachel Ehrecke | Colorado Gray Wolves

Bulou Mataitoga | Loughborough Lightning

Saher Hamdan | Life University


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

Mental Performance | Tracy Carrington

Team Manager | Annemarie Farrell

Liaison Officer | Steve Downie

Remote Support | Jenny Lui & Rich Ashfield