USA Women’s Pathways and Junior National Teams ramp up for action-packed summer in 2023

Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 10:21 PM
by Calder Cahill.

As the 2022-23 school season nears an end and the weather begins to warm, the USA Rugby Women’s Pathways and Junior National Teams look ahead to a busy summer of development opportunities across the fifteens and sevens pitch.

The 2023 season will kick off with the Falcons Sevens returning to Canada for the NextGen 7s in May, followed by U23 All Stars in fifteens this June, and an international tour of South America for the U23s. Looking to increase assembly time and opportunities for up-and-coming Eagles prospects, both now and into the future, Women’s High Performance Pathways Manager Martha Daines and company have worked hard to organize competitions and develop strong partnerships in all regions of the country.

“We’ve been working this year to increase the number of development opportunities for all pathway players," said Daines, "Not only by holding High Performance Pathway camps and competitions, but also through our support of regional representative side teams. These first events of the summer will provide some challenging international experiences for players who we believe will be key to our national teams’ success in the near future, as well as provide a robust domestic competition to challenge players to perform under pressure and to help us identify new talent. July will also be a busy month, with U20 and U23 competitions and two U18 Regional Camps on the schedule.”

2023 NextGen 7s USA Women’s Falcons 7s May 17-21, Langford, BC
South America Tour (vs Brazil & Columbia) USA Women’s U23s June 3 & 7, Brazil
2023 USA U23 All Star Championship Regional U23 All Stars June 23-25, Des Moines, IA

Led by USA Eagle Alum Irene Gardner as Head Coach, the Women’s Falcons 7s will land in Langford, BC from May 17-21 for NextGen 7s, an annual development competition hosted by Rugby Canada, with a collection of Canadian development sides and academies also included.

The USA U23 All Star Competition will also return in 2023, with eight regional teams currently recruiting to compete for a spot in the All Star Championship tournament, June 23-25 in West Des Moines, IA. The structure of the 2023 competition will evolve into two separate tiers of four, based on last year's results. Using this approach, the tiers will see the South, Midwest, Pacific North and Pacific South squads in Tier 1, alongside Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Central South and Rocky Mountain in Tier 2.

The All Star Championship event is co-organized by USA Rugby Pathways and the support of event sponsors IMT Insurance, West Bank, Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitor Bureau and hosted by Des Moines Rugby Club. Each regional All Star program is currently scouting roster talent, please see below contact information for recruitment:

USA Women’s U23 All Star Championship Regions
Mid-Atlantic U23s Pennsylvania, Virginia, DC, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland Kate Daley
New England Independents Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey Thomas Grant
U23 Southeast Selects North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennesee Lisa Jackson
Midwest Thunderbird U23s Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, lowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota Meghan Flanigan
Rocky Mountain Peaks Colorado, Utah,Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska Chris Kovac
Central South Mustangs Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Kj Abel Ruch
Pacific South Griffins Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Las Vegas Joanne Absher
Pacific Coast Grizzlies Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada (excluding Las Vegas) Heidi Whitman
Evan Hoese

Daines concluded, “We are extremely thankful for the assistance of host Des Moines Rugby Club and the support of event sponsors IMT Insurance, West Bank, and the Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitor Bureau. Their support will help reduce the costs to players who are working hard to pursue their ambitions to compete at the highest level."

Rounding out a busy early summer, the USA Women’s U23s will venture to South America from May 30 - June 8 for two fixtures against Brazil and Columbia, driving quintessential international tour experience for prospects knocking on the door with the USA Eagles senior National Team. More details on that tour will be communicated as they are confirmed by organizers.