America were the first-ever women’s world champions, back in 1991


USA Women’s Rugby World Cup Squad 2022

The USA’s seventh straight defeat by Canada ended their involvement at this year’s Rugby World Cup as they lost 32-11 in their quarter-final.

They started brightly and put their opponents under pressure, but a strong second half by their North American rivals allowed Canada to secure a place in the last four.

The USA had the better of the opening exchanges, with a chargedown on Alex Tessier inside 30 seconds setting the tone. Canada couldn’t escape their own half in those ealy minutes and the USA scored the opening try after nine minutes when Joanna Kitlinski got over from a pick-and-go on the line.

Canada then hit back with two tries in five minutes before the end of the first quarter. First, they set up from a maul from a five-metre driving lineout and McKinley Hunt surged over from close range. Next, Karen Paquin won the race to ground an Elissa Alarie kick ahead.

The USA thought they had reduced the deficit with a try around the 30-minute mark when Hope Rogers went over but it was ruled out by the TMO for a knock-on at the preceding maul. Alev Kelter did slot a penalty shortly after, however, to make it 12-8 at the break.

It was Canada who dominated the second 40, however. Paige Farries got them off to a great start with a superb individual try and when Kelter was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle, the Canadians scored ten points, including a try for Alex Tesssier, and they were able to close out a comfortable win.

USA team to play Canada – Sunday 30 October

Tess Feury; Jennine Detiveaux, Eti Haungatau, Alev Kelter, Lotte Clapp; Gabriella Cantorna, Carly Waters; Hope Rogers, Joanna Kitlinski, Nick James, Kristine Sommer, Evi Ashenbrucker, Kathryn Johnson, Rachel Johnson, Kate Zackary (captain).

Replacements: Kathryn Treder, Catherine Benson, Charli Jacoby, Jenny Kronish, Bitsy Cairns, Bridget Kahele, Katana Howard, Meya Bizer.

Canada 29-14 USA

The USA have now lost six successive matches to Canada having been beaten in their final  Rugby World Cup pool match 29-14 at Waitakere Stadium.

Yet they have booked their place in the quarter-finals as one of the best third-placed teams and are set to play their North American rivals in the knockout stages next weekend (bar a shock result in the later England-South Africa match).

The USA trailed 19-7 at the break as they struggled to contain Canada’s lineout maul and powerful runners. They had to make two-and-a-half times as many tackles as Canada in that opening 40 minutes as their North American rivals dominated possession.

Alev Kelter scored their one try of the half when powering through two tacklers and fending off another. She converted the try, too, but the USA had few other chances in that opening period.

They did enjoy more territory and possession after the break, and while they conceded a fourth try around the hour mark, they narrowed the gap to ten points going into the final eight minutes when Kate Zackary touched down from close range and Kelter converted.

Canada crossed again after the hooter had sounded but this result is likely to have set up a rematch next weekend and it could be a cracker.

USA team to play Canada – Sunday 23 October

Tess Feury; Jennine Detiveaux, Eti Haungatau, Alev Kelter, Lotte Clapp; Gabriella Cantorna, Carly Waters; Hope Rogers, Joanna Kitlinski, Nick James, Kristine Sommer, Evi Ashenbrucker, Kathryn Johnson, Rachel Johnson, Kate Zackary (captain).

Replacements: Kathryn Treder, Catherine Benson, Charli Jacoby, Jenny Kronish, Bitsy Cairns, Bridget Kahele, Katana Howard, Meya Bizer.

USA 30-17 Japan

The only time these two sides have met before was at the 1994 Rugby World Cup and the USA beat Japan by a record 121-0 margin. It was a rather different contest this time, but the Eagles got their campaign back on track with a 30-17 bonus-point win.

The USA lacked cohesion in the first half and their game plan seemed to be focused on simply overpowering Japan in contact. While they achieved this in one-on-one situations, they found it hard to break down the Japanese defensive line as a whole and their only points in the first 40 minutes came from a Gabby Cantorna penalty.

They did take the lead early in the second period with a try from Joanna Kitlinski. First Jennine Detiveaux claimed a kick ahead from Cantorna and then the ball was spread wide, with hooker Kitlinski showing surprising pace down the wing.

Japan got the next score but the Eagles were quick to regain their lead and build on it with three tries in 15 minutes.

First, Alev Kelter got over from close range following a driving lineout. Then they increased that lead with a well-worked try around the hour mark. Breaks from Detiveaux and Kelter allowed them to build momentum, then another Cantorna kick was collected by Elizabeth Cairns, who had a clear run-in.

The third try came from Detiveaux, who scythed into the Japanese 22 and crossed close to the posts. They wrapped up the win with a late penalty, recognising that every point could matter when it comes down to making the knockout stages.

USA team to play Japan – Saturday 15 October

Meya Bizer; Jennine Detiveaux, Eti Haungatau, Alev Kelter, Tess Feury; Gabby Cantorna, Olivia Ortiz; Hope Rogers, Joanna Kitlinski, Charli Jacoby, Kristine Sommer, Evi Ashenbrucker, Kathryn Johnson, Rachel Johnson, Kate Zackary (captain).

Replacements: Kathryn Treder, Catherine Benson, Nick James, Jenny Kronish, Elizabeth Cairns, Carly Waters, Megan Foster, Lotte Clapp.

USA 10-22 Italy 

A malfunctioning lineout and the inability to show creativity in attack saw the USA suffer a 22-10 defeat by Italy in their opening Rugby World Cup match in Whangarei.

It was an error-strewn first half, the USA’s lineout struggles matched by Italy’s passing inaccuracies.

The Eagles scored early through Hallie Taufoou, who crossed from close range after Jordan Matyas took a quick tap from a scrum penalty and the USA recycled effectively on the line. But they couldn’t build on that score before half-time and trailed 7-5 at the break after Italy scored in the 39th minute.

Italy extended their lead early in the second half before the Eagles closed the gap through a Jenny Kronish try when the Azzurre were down to 14 players. They were unable to add the conversion to level the scores and two Italy tries in seven minutes in the final quarter condemned the USA to a first-round defeat.

USA team to play Italy – Sunday 9 October

Alev Kelter; Jennine Detiveaux, Eti Haungatau, Katana Howard, Lotte Clapp; Gabby Cantorna, Carly Waters; Hope Rogers, Joanna Kitlinski, Nick James, Hallie Taufoou, Jenny Kronish, Jordan Matyas, Rachel Johnson, Kate Zackary (captain).

Replacements: Kathryn Treder, Catie Benson, Charli Jacoby, Kristine Sommer, Georgie Perris-Redding, Olivia Ortiz, Meya Bizer, Tess Feury.

USA Women’s Rugby World Cup Squad 2022

There’s a mix of youth and experience in Rob Cain’s squad. Nine players have previous World Cup experience while others heading to New Zealand will get their first taste of this tournament.

Prop Hope Rogers will play in her third World Cup, having also competed in 2014 and 2017, while Kate Zackary will continue as captain of the team having taken on the role in 2018.

Cain said: “We’ve got a really exciting group, and the pleasing thing is to really see some of the less experienced players drive what we’re doing alongside the experienced players.

“It’s been great to see players get more caps these last 12 months, adding eight or nine games to allow for combinations to be created and take advantage of our opportunity windows. Now we have an opportunity to cement it.”

The USA have also named four non-travelling reserves in Rachel Ehrecke, Saher Hamdan, Bulou Mataitoga and Alycia Washington.

Here is the USA Women’s Rugby World Cup squad.



Meya Bizer (10 May 1993/Beantown/Full-back)

Gabby Cantorna (2 Aug 1995/Exeter Chiefs/Fly-half)

Lotte Clapp (13 Jan 1995/Saracens/Wing)

Jennine Detiveaux (12 Nov 1993/Exeter Chiefs/Wing)

Tess Feury (15 Mar 1996/Wasps/Full-back)

Megan Foster (24 Apr 1992/Exeter Chiefs/Fly-half)

Eti Haungatau (25 Sep 2000/Lindenwood University/Centre)

McKenzie Hawkins (8 Jan 1997/Life West Gladiatrix/Fly-half)

Katana Howard (25 Jun 1993/Sale Sharks/Centre)

Bridget Kahele (1 Aug 1996/Beantown/Scrum-half)

Alev Kelter (21 Mar 1991/Saracens/Centre or full-back)

Olivia Ortiz (23 Oct 1997/Colorado Gray Wolves/Scrum-half)

Carly Waters (19 Dec 1995/Sale Sharks/Scrum-half)


Evelyn Ashenbrucker (6 Aug 1990/San Diego Surfers/Lock)

Catie Benson (10 Feb 1992/Sale Sharks/Prop)

Elizabeth Cairns (23 Oct 1992/Life West Gladiatrix/Back-row)

Jett Hayward (22 Apr 1997/Life West Gladiatrix/Hooker)

Charli Jacoby (9 Oct 1989/Exeter Chiefs/Prop)

Nick James (20 Jan 1989/Sale Sharks/Prop)

Erica Jarrell (Beantown/Prop)

Kathryn Johnson (25 Oct 1991/Twin Cities Amazons/Back-row)

Rachel Johnson (5 Feb 1991/Exeter Chiefs/Back-row)

Joanna Kitlinksi (5 Jul 1988/Sale Sharks/Hooker)

Jenny Kronish (27 Dec 1996/Harlequins/Lock)

Maya Learned (1 Jan 1996/Gloucester-Hartpury/Prop)

Jordan Matyas (2 Jul 1993/USA Sevens/Lock)

Kathryn Treder (Beantown/Hooker)

Georgie Perris-Redding (1 Oct 1997/Sale Sharks/Back-row)

Hope Rogers (7 Jan 1993/Exeter Chiefs/Prop)

Kristine Sommer (2 Oct 1990/Seattle/Lock)

Hallie Taufoou (26 May 1994/Loughborough Lightning/Lock)

Kate Zackary (26 Jul 1989/Exeter Chiefs/Back-row)

USA Women’s Rugby World Cup Fixtures 2022

(All kick-off times are UK & Ireland time)

Pool B

Sun 9 Oct, USA 10-22 Italy

Sat 15 Oct, USA 30-17 Japan

Sun 23 Oct, Canada 29-14 USA


Sun 30 Oct, Canada 32-11 USA

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