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USA and Canada Women Set for Clash

Tuesday Aug 18, 2009 in Women National Teams

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(Phaidra Knight's two tries against South Africa earn her a second straight start.)

Oakville, Ont. – USA Rugby Women’s National Team Head Coach Kathy Flores has named her roster for the Eagles’ upcoming Nations Cup match versus cross-border rivals Canada.

Once again held at Appleby College just outside of Toronto, the match kicks off at 6:30 pm (EST) on Wednesday and will be streamed live on the Web via UStream.

The USA looks to build on the momentum of its 39-0 shutout over South Africa as it enters its next meeting with Canada. Meanwhile, the Canada Women set their sights on a win, following their disappointing 12-7 loss at the hands of France on Sunday.

When the two North American teams last played in the annual CanAm tournament in late June, it was Canada who came out on top; however, Flores is confident her team’s hard work will pay off in what’s certain to be a physical test.

“The weather has been pretty hard on everyone here but at least we have a later game,” said Flores, referring to the heat. “It will be a strong contest considering we've lost to Canada in our last few meetings and I'm sure they are hungry after their defeat to France.”

Canada were somewhat shocked by their loss to France.

“Canada has proven to have strong set pieces and attacking runners and we are looking to our extra work in those areas pay off for us on the field,” said Flores.

After getting a rest on Sunday, Stacy Baker will start at loosehead prop, joined by Mari Wallace at hooker and Lara Vivolo at tighthead.

In the second row, Jenny Menke and Jillion Potter fill in at lock, while flanker Phaidra Knight retains her spot and looks to best her aggressive two try performance against South Africa. Kristin Zdanczewicz starts at openside flanker and Melanie Denham rounds out the pack at No. 8.

The backline also sees its share of changes and reverts back to a lineup reminiscent of the Eagles’ first round clash against England.

Calling the shots at scrumhalf is Claudia Braymer, with Stephanie Bruce also reclaiming her spot at flyhalf. Nathalie Marchino and Vanesha McGee pair up on the wings, with Emilie Bydwell and Amy Daniels looking to make an impact in the center.

Team captain Ashley English, who made quite an impact off the bench versus South Africa, is set to start at fullback on Wednesday.

Preceding the USA vs. Canada match will be undefeated England against 0-1-1 South Africa. Kickoff is 4:30 pm.

USA Lineup
1 STACY BAKER (Philadelphia) 2 MARI WALLACE (Beantown) 3 LARA VIVOLO (New York) 4 JENNY MENKE (Minnesota Valkyries) 5 JILLION POTTER (University of New Mexico) 6 PHAIDRA KNIGHT (New York) 7 KRISTIN ZDANCZEWICZ (Minnesota Valkyries) 8 MELANIE DENHAM (Beantown) 9 CLAUDIA BRAYMER (Albany) 10 STEPHANIE BRUCE (Berkeley All-Blues) 11 NATHALIE MARCHINO (Berkeley All-Blues) 12 EMILIE BYDWELL (Beantown) 13 AMY DANIELS (Beantown) 14 VANESHA MCGEE (New York) 15 ASHLEY ENGLISH (Berkeley All-Blues)   

16 JAMIE BURKE (Beantown) 17 LISA BUTTS (Davis) 18 SHARON BLANEY (Beantown) 19 BLAIR GROEFSEMA (Berkeley All-Blues) 20 KIM MAGRINI (Keystone) 21 MELANIE KANUK (Minnesota Valkyries) 22 CHRISTY RINGGENBERG (Minnesota Valkyries)

Regular Canada captain Leslie Cripps has been assigned to the bench after playing 160 minutes of international rugby in three days, her captaincy passed on to clever centre Sarah Ulmer for the game. Cripps, who plays alongside Ulmer for the Saracens as well as Canada, has full confidence in her teammate.

“Ulmer is a great leader on the team, even if she’s not in a captain role. She has a great knowledge of the game and all of her teammates, whether international or club, have the most respect for her. Her experience and game smarts provide a calming aspect to what could be a very intense match.”

Canada’s 22-man roster for USA game:
1. Kim Donaldson (Burnaby Lake) 2. Ashley MacDonald (Lethbridge RFC) 3. Marlene Donaldson (Velox Valkyries) 4. Marie-Eve Brindamour-Carignan (Town of Mount Royal RFC) 5. Paige Burdett (Calgary Irish) 6. Kelly Russell (Toronto Nomads) 7. Heather Jaques (Capilano RFC) 8. Barbara Mervin (Velox Valkyries) 9. Julia Sugawara (Burnaby Lake) 10. Anna Schnell (Burnaby Lake) 11. Tara Eckert (Calgary Irish) 12. Stevi Schnoor (United RFC London) 13. Sarah Ulmer (Saracens) 14. Brittany Waters (Meraloma) 15. Cheryl Phillips (Toronto Scottish)  

Reserves:  16. Leslie Cripps (London Saracens) 17. Lesley McKenzie (UBCOB Ravens) 18. Danielle Rowlands (Calgary Irish) 19. Megan Gibbs (Irish Canadians) 20. Maria Gallo (Burnaby Lake) 21. Laura Stoughton (Calgary Irish) 22. Juilianne Zussman (Town of Mount Royal RFC)

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