USA Women's National Team Head Coach, Pete Steinberg, has named his starting squad for the final match of pool play in the Women's Nations Cup as they face off with South Africa.
Both South Africa and the USA are in search of their first win in the tournament as they take the field today at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Sarah Chobot impressed off the bench in the last match and finds herself starting for the USA. Her prop partner is Libby Berg, with Lisa Butts hooking between the two. Their engine room includes former University of Colorado standout, Lauren Daly, and Shaina Turley.
The loose forwards are a physical and mobile crew, including captain Kate Daley leading from the number eight position and Kitt Wagner and Laura Miller taking up the flanks.
Carrie White and Penn State fylhalf Sadie Anderson are a new starting halfback pairing in the Nations Cup. Anderson seems to be the preferred number ten, but coach Pete Steinberg is giving Seattle scrumhalf White a chance to start. The experienced Keystone scrumhalf, Kim Magrini, is on hand to come on if needed.
The halfbacks will look to ignite a potent backline including the powerful center pairing of Sylvia Braaten and Rebecca Brafman, teammates on the Twin City Amazons and the National Team. The back three have speed to burn with wings Kaelene Lundstrum and Vanesha McGee. Fullback Samantha Pankey gets another start at fullback to anchor the back three.
The USA started the tournament off with a cracker of a game against 2010 Women's Rugby World Cup runners-up, England, losing 11-15 due to a last minute try. The USA tried to stage a rally against Canada in their second match, but were edged out after a strong start and finish to the match.
Consistency the whole 80 minutes is key for the Women's Eagles against South Africa, who have had a tough Nations Cup with Canada and England scoring a combined 97 points against the South Africans. Those same two teams scored only 50 points against the USA. Their scoring rate is comparable, the Women's Eagles have scored 28 points and South Africa has scored 25. South Africa has had almost twice as many points scored against them, hinting at suspect defense that the USA will aim to exploit.
USA Women's Eagles
15 Samantha Pankey (James River)
14 Vanesha McGee (New York Rugby Club)
13 Rebecca Brafman (Twin City Amazons)
12 Sylvia Braaten (Twin City Amazons)
11 Kaelene Lundstrum (Twin City Amazons)
10 Sadie Anderson (Penn State)
9 Carrie White (Seattle Rugby)
1 Sarah Chobot (Minnesota Valkyries)
2 Lisa Butts (Nor Cal Triple Threat)
3 Libby Berg (Minnesota Valkyries)
4 Lauren Daly (At-Large)
5 Shaina Turley (San Diego Surfers)
6 Kittery Wagner (Beantown
7 Laura Miller (DC Furies)
16 Devin Keller (Keystone)
17 Jamie Burke (Beantown)
18 Stacy Baker (Keystone)
19 Lynelle Kugler (Twin City Amazons)
20 Kim Magrini (Keystone)
21 Amy Daniels (Beantown)
22 Katie Dowty (Beantown)
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