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Nations Cup plans coming together for USA

An extended USA women’s rugby squad will train together this week at the Olympic Training Center in California. ahead of this summer’s Nations Cup.

USA head coach Pete Steinberg has named over 30 players in his initial squad, as he prepares to lead the side in his first competition since he took over from Kathy Flores earlier this year.

The Nations Cup, to be held from August 2-13 in at Appleby College in Oakville, Ontario, will see the USA Eagles face England, Canada and South Africa in pool play with the aim of qualifying for the final to be played on August 13.

This camp will primarily focus on preparing for England and Canada. Well only have one practice day before we play England, so we need to install our approach on attack and defense, said Steinberg.

Steinberg also identified the set piece as an area of focus in the camp. Getting lineouts and scrums in a good place before the camp ends will give the USA a platform for attack and go-forward ball. Establishing the set piece is crucial to do beforehand, given the short preparation time before facing 2010 Womens Rugby World Cup runners-up, England in the Nations Cup opener.

Lineout expert and all-time caps leader for the USA, Luke Gross, is on the Womens Eagles staff and will lend his expertise to the team.

Since he was appointed to the role earlier this year Steinberg has been analysing footage from the 2010 Womens Rugby World Cup, the Womens Premier League and the January Womens High Performance camp.

He has also used the 2011 College Championships and the Collegiate and Club All-Star Championships to scout players and identify talent.

The last time the Womens National Team was assembled was last year when they claimed 5th place in the 2010 Womens Rugby World Cup, defeating Canada in thrilling fashion 23-20.

USA Squad.

Stacy Baker (Keystone Rugby Club), Libby Berg (Minnesota Valkyries), Sharon Blaney (Beantown), Stacy Bridges (Westmoreland Highlander RFC), Jamie Burke (Beantown), Lisa Butts (Nor Cal Triple Threat RFC), Sarah Chobot (Minnesota Valkyries), Kate Daley (Chicago North Shore WRFC), Lauren Daly (At Large), Farrah Douglas (Washington Furies), Anne McClain (Atlanta Harlequins), Laura Miller (Washington Furies), Tina Nesberg (Stanford/ San Jose Seahawks), Jillion Potter (Glendale), Shaina Turley (San Diego Surfers), Kittery Wagner (Beantown)

Sadie Anderson (Penn State), Sylvia Braaten (Twin City Amazons), Rebecca Brafman (New York Rugby Club), Francine Bray (Austin Valkyries), Emilie Bydwell (Beantown), Amy Daniels (Beantown), Katie Dowty (Beantown), Victoria Folayan (Berkeley All-Blues), Devin Keller (Keystone), Lynelle Kugler (Twin City Amazons), Jennifer Lui (Chicago North Shore WRFC), Kaelene Lundstrum (Twin City Amazons), Kim Magrini (Keystone), Desiree Markovich (Minnesota Valkyries), Samantha Pankey (James River Womens RFC), Caroline White (Seattle RFC)

USA Nations Cup Fixtures.

August 2, 2011: USA vs. England

August 5, 2011: USA vs. Canada

August 9, 2011: USA vs. South Africa

August 13, 2011: Nation Cup Finals (1st v. 2nd, 3rd v. 4th)