The USA and England have named their starting lineups for the opening round of the Women’s Nations Cup. This evening’s match will mark the Eagles’ first international test since the Women’s Rugby World Cup last September. England, however, is coming off its sixth consecutive Six Nations championship.
England is using its match against the USA to vet six new caps, but the familiar faces of Margaret Alphonsi, Katy McLean, Alice Richardson, Emily Scarratt and Danielle Waterman will help anchor the Roses.
"The USA are one of the best sides in the world and always present a fully committed and physical challenge,” England coach Gary Street said. “With a new coaching set-up we are not sure what to expect of them but we are excited at the prospect of this match."
USA coach Pete Steinberg was a little more conservative in breaking in uncapped players against the world’s second-ranked team. Penn State’s Sadie Anderson will earn her first senior XVs cap tonight at flyhalf, as will fullback Sam Pankey from DII club James River.
The pack is pretty experienced, with four of the five having played in the Rugby World Cup, and the most interesting starter in the back row is Lynelle Kugler, who has typically played outside center for the Eagles.
Captain Kim Magrini is paired with the youngest player on the team, Anderson at flyhalf, but has a lot of experience down the line. Centers Pam Kosanke and Amy Daniels, and wing Vix Folayan and Vanesha McGee all have RWC playing time. All told, nine of the 15 starters played in last year’s RWC.
The England v USA match will kick off at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Although the match was originally supposed to be streamed live via Rugby Canada’s UStream (www.ustream.tv/channel/live-rugby), technical difficulties might prevent a live broadcast.
1. Rochelle Clark, 2. Victoria Fleetwood, 3. Laura Keates, 4. Rebecca Essex, 5. Tamara Taylor, 6. Joanna McGilchrist, 7. Margaret Alphonsi, 8. Sarah Hunter, 9. La Toya Mason, 10. Katy McLean (c), 11. Kay Wilson, 12. Alice Richardson, 13. Emily Scarratt, 14. Francesca Matthews, 15. Danielle Waterman.
Substitutes: 16. Amy Garnett, 17. Sophie Hemming, 18. Rowena Burnfield, 19. Jennifer Brightmore, 20. Natasha Hunt, 21. Sarah McKenna, 22. Claire Allan.
1. Farrah Douglas, 2. Lisa Butts, 3. Jamie Burke, 4. Stacey Bridges, 5. Stacy Baker, 6. Shaina Turley, 7. Lynelle Kugler, 8. Kate Daley, 9. Kim Magrini (c), 10. Sadie Anderson, 11. Vix Folayan, 12. Pam Kosanke, 13. Amy Daniels, 14. Vanesha McGee, 15. Samantha Pankey.
Substitutes: 16. Devin Keller, 17. Sarah Chobot, 18. Laura Miller, 19. Kitt Wagner, 20. Carrie White, 21. Sylvia Braaten, 22. Katie Dowty.