USA women's head coach Rob Cain has selected a new look side to face the Barbarians tomorrow in a game which will mark the first time a Barbarians side has ever faced a national side.
Cain took more than 50 players into camp this week and has whittled his squad down to 23.
The lineup features a mix of new faces along with several who return following a gap in their time playing for the US.
Three of these are starters in Nicole Strasko, Nate Serevi and Amy Naber. Strasko will start at lock after playing her last test match during the 2017 Can-Am Series. Serevi is in at No. 8 after having featured against England in July of 2016 and Naber, starting at centre, will play for the first time since her test debut against New Zealand in Summer of 2015.
The starting XV also features a new face in Twin City Amazon’s Katana Howard and two sevens athletes in Neariah Persinger and Eti Haungatau. Persinger will play her first match with the senior team in fifteens after last competing with the Eagles Sevens in Kitakyushu 2018. Haungatau will play her first match overall at the senior level.
Cain said: “As a coaching group we are not just excited for the 23 that will be running out against the Barbarians but also incredibly excited for the inner competition that this week has shown throughout the player pool in camp. It’s always great to see both the excitement and realization from an individual player that they deserve to be in the national team environment.
“The Barbarians are steeped in history, no more so than with this match day squad, from World Cup winners, to multiple World Cup captains, to players involved at the Olympics in both their playing and coaching staff we know the type of challenge that lays await for us. This is such an exciting platform for all of us as we continue forwards with our adventures in 2019.”
USA: 1 Catherine Benson 2 Joanna Kitlinski 3 Nicole James 4 Stacey Bridges 5 Nicole Strasko 6 Kate Zachary (captain) 7 Rachel Johnson 8 Nate Serevi 9 Carly Waters 10 Katana Howard 11 Neariah Persinger 12 Amy Naber 13 Eti Haungatau 14 Jennine Duncan 15 Gabriella Cantorna
Replacements: 16 Katy Augustyn, 17 Hope Rogers, 18 Charli Jacoby, 19 Alycia Washington, 20 Joyce Taufa, 21 Ashlee Byrge, 22 Bui Baravilala, 23 Bulou Mataitoga
Tickets are available at glendaleraptors.com/tickets with the Eagles-Barbarians game broadcast LIVE on FloRugby.com.