The Runner Sports

Women’s Rugby World Cup Preview: USA Eagles Pool Play Competition

With the debut of the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup less than two weeks away, the stage is set for a titanic clash of rugby talent. The tournament is set to be held in Ireland from August 9 to the 26 and the USA Eagles are poised to begin the competition on a high note.

The initiation of some winning momentum will not come easily, as the lady Eagles will face off against some stiff competition in the form of a rampaging English team that hasn’t felt the sting of a loss since November of last year. Pool B is rounded out with dangerous sides coming from Spain and Italy that have taken advantage of the recent growth of the sport in their countries respectively.

vs. Italy

Currently occupying 9th place in World Rugby ranking, Italy will come out swinging and have a seasoned starting 15 to test the American rookies. The danger players will be Silvia Gaudino and Veronica Schiavone, who are the only returning World Cup veterans on the squad. Likewise, Italy has not been in a World Cup since 2002 and will strive to make a statement early against American opponents who are only two rungs up the ranking ladder. Pool play between these two rivals is set for August 9 at 11:30 ET.

vs. Spain

America’s second matchup will be against Las Leonas of Spanish origin. Showing that rugby enthusiasm has no age limit is Spanish captain Aroa González who, at 38, is definitely in the twilight of her rugby career and will be competing in her 3rd Rugby World Cup. Suffice it to say that this veteran player will prove a potent force against the Eagles and is a valuable asset to her fellow Leonas. Those wishing to catch this competition should tune in on August 13 at 9:45 am ET.

vs. England

By far the Eagles’ toughest competition in pool play will be a sturdy English squad that currently leads the field in World Rugby ranking. Likewise, with a total of 1,207 caps in the squad, there will be no shortage of experience on a team currently enjoying an eight-game winning streak. Elaborating on the source of some of this experience, the English head coach explained that, “The blend of experience and youth is crucial. We are very lucky in that we have got players who have experienced a Women’s Rugby World Cup already and some major tournaments along the way, including the Olympics.” Kickoff for this final clash for the Eagles in pool play will be on August 17 at 9:30 ET.


The Eagles aren’t without their own veterans, however, and like the English Red Roses, Olympians and previous World Cup veterans abound in the 28 women strong squad. Clubs across the US will undoubtedly be cheering on their representative members selected to wear the Eagles jersey this August and stay tuned for announcements on how to watch the tournament in the United States.

Eric Sweigert

Eric Sweigert

Currently a teacher-athlete up in Northern California, I was first introduced to rugby in college (go Aggies) and haven't looked back. Nowadays you can find me teaching American History and writing about a sport that provided many good memories and more than enough stitches.
Eric Sweigert