The Women's Eagle Sevens team that will compete in the 2011 Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens on December 2-3 has been named and the squad is packed with speed, youth, and experience.
Head Coach Ric Suggitt has confidence in the 12-player traveling squad that will depart for Dubai later this week, and has emphasized fitness and mental toughness at the pre-tournament camp.
The tournament will mark the start of the IRB Women's Sevens Challenge Cup, the first step towards a full women's sevens series planned for 2012 and beyond.
National Team veterans Amy Daniels and Pam Kosanke will lend their international experience to the younger players, and will aim to put a stamp on the 2011-2012 Season that will see the USA play in four tournaments in Dubai, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, and Amsterdam.
Size and power in the forwards comes from Daniels, Kosanke, youngster Kaelene Lundstrum, and Corey Fredericks.
The backs division will be complemented by the speed of Katie Dowty, Kimber Rozier, and Rebekah Siebach, the experience of Beth Black, and the scoring ability of Emilie Bydwell.
Try-scoring machine Kelly Griffin will be a welcome presence on the scoresheet in Dubai coming off a stellar year with fellow Eagle and Berkeley All-Blue, Irene Gardner. Griffin and Gardner have played in and won three National Championships in 2011 and will look to carry their stunning domestic form into the international arena. Their Berkeley teammate Nathalie Marchino is unavailable for the Dubai tournament.
The USA find themselves among a very experienced and formidable pool in Dubai. The team will face Pool B opponents England, South Africa, and China on Friday December 2.
The USA Women's Eagle Sevens will hope to grab a win against familiar opponent England while looking to continue their win streak against a young, yet determined Chinese team. The USA squad hasn't faced South Africa in sevens since beating them 21-7 in the 2008 USA Sevens Invitational.
USA Women's Eagle Sevens
2011 Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens
Deven Owsiany (Penn State)
Kaelene Lundstrum (Twin Cities Amazons)
Kimber Rozier (UNC-Chapel Hill)
Kelly Griffin (Berkeley All-Blues)
Corey Fredericks (New Orleans)
Katie Dowty (Beantown)
Amy Daniels (Beantown)
Rebekah Siebach (Women's Cougar Rugby)
Irene Gardner (Berkeley All-Blues)
Elizabeth Black (NOVA)
Pam Kosanke (Chicago North Shore)
Emilie Bydwell (San Diego Surfers)
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