Nations Cup Rugby—England vs. South Africa And USA vs. Canada Previews

Wendy YoungCorrespondent IAugust 19, 2009

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - MARCH 07:  The Australia women's team lift the trophy after beating New Zealand to win the Womens IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009 at The Sevens stadium on March 7, 2009 in Dubai, UAE.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

There is more Nations Cup Rugby action today! Its starts at 4:30pm (EST) with England vs South Africa and finishes with USA vs Canada at 6:30pm (EST). Unfortunately, I have practice tonight and I will not be able to tweet about the USA vs Canada game, but I will have updates as soon as practice is over.

You can either view the video below or go directly to the Ustream site here. Each match will also be archived and available at Ustream.

For full rosters and schedule of Nations Cup 2009, go here.
6/10: USA vs England Match Report
6/10: France vs South Africa Match Report
6/13: Canada vs South Africa Match Report
6/13: England vs France Match Report
6/16: Canada vs France Match Report
6/16: USA vs South Africa Match Report

England Women’s team announced for penultimate Nations Cup clash

From England Women's Rugby:

England Women’s head coach Gary Street has named his starting lineup for Wednesday’s penultimate Nations Cup clash against South Africa in Toronto, with kickoff time starting at 9:30pm (BST).

Having already beaten the USA and France, England goes into the game on course to clinch the round robin tournament for a second year on the bounce, and at the same time, add to the RBS 6 Nations title they have already won this year.

England captain Catherine Spencer returns to the starting lineup after being rested against France, while Saracens’ Charlotte Barras is named as vice-captain and switches to fullback. Lichfield’s Olivia Poore, Plymouth Albion’s Georgina Rozario, and Saracens’ Rachael Burford also get their first Nations Cup starts of the tournament.

England’s Street said, “We are very looking forward to the next game. It’s going to be great to play against new opposition. South Africa have improved tremendously since the last World Cup and England versus South Africa is always a huge game in world rugby.”

England Captain Spencer added, “We have not played against South Africa since 2006 so we are very much looking forward to running out against them on Wednesday. They are an ever improving side who have some very talented individuals so we need to be clinical in everything that we do.

"We are playing in increasingly hot conditions here in Canada, but I am confident that our fitness and conditioning will help us to overcome this additional challenge.”

England Roster vs South Africa

15 Charlotte Barras (VC) (Saracens)

14 Katherine Merchant (Worcester)

13 Claire Allan (Saracens)

12 Rachael Burford (Saracens)

11 Fiona Pocock (Richmond)

10 Alice Richardson (Richmond)

9 Georgina Rozario (Plymouth Albion)

1 Claire Purdy (Wasps)

2 Olivia Poore (Lichfield)

3 Katy Storie (Team Northumbria)

4 Sarah Beale (Lichfield)

5 Rebecca Essex (Richmond)

6 Karen Jones (Richmond)

7 Heather Fisher (Wasps)

8 Catherine Spencer (C Bristol)


16 Amy Garnett (Saracens)

17 Sophie Hemming (Bristol)

18 Jo McGilchrist (Wasps)

19 Gemma Sharples (Worcester)

20 Amy Turner (Richmond)

21 Kim Oliver (Bristol)

22 Danielle Waterman (Team Northumbria)

Nations Cup Preview Day 4

From Rugby Canada:

South Africa remains the lone winless team at the 2009 Women’s Nations Cup and will face a tough challenge coming up against heavy tournament favorites England on Wednesday.

England has released their lineup for the game, and it appears they are taking the opportunity to make a couple of positional changes, testing a few players in unfamiliar spots under the pressure situation of an international test.

Aside from when France scored first in their game, the 2008 Women’s Nations Cup champions have yet to be really challenged during this tournament.

Because of the global weight of the match, second-year England head coach Gary Street says his side is expecting a challenge.

“Though they (South Africa) haven’t won yet this tournament, they’ve come on massively since the last World Cup and made huge strides. It’s their last match of the tourney so they will have added motivation. England-South Africa has always been a big match in terms of world rugby, and our side has been training and preparing consistently all week.”

By beating South Africa on Monday, the USA won their first international match since the 2006 World Cup, giving them a momentum that Canada hopes to nullify on Wednesday when the two sides face each other in the day’s late game.

The North American rivalry was last ignited in July in a Can-Am series that saw Canada victorious in both an ‘A’ match and a full test match against their compatriots.

Wednesday’s meeting promises to be a heated one, as both countries will be represented by their full sides. Canada has transitioned well from Monday’s narrow loss to France, learning from the match and applying the experience in today’s training sessions.

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.”

With a 7’s World Cup under her belt, backrow Kelly Russell will be vice-captain on Wednesday, and will provide quality leadership well above her years.

Both matches will be played at Oakville’s Appleby College and will be the last ones played at the hospitable private school before the Nations Cup changes venue to Fletcher’s Field on Sunday for the final matches. England and South Africa will kick off first on Wednesday at 2pm, followed by Canada and USA at 4pm.

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)


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)

USA Women’s Squad Set for Showdown against Canada

From USA Rugby:

OAKVILLE, Ontario—USA Rugby Women’s National Team Head Coach Kathy Flores officially named her roster for the Eagles’ upcoming Nations Cup match versus cross-border rivals Canada.

Once again held at Appleby College, outside of Toronto, the match kicks off at 6:30pm (EST) on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 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 12-7 loss at the hands of France on Sunday.

When the two North American teams last played in the annual Can-Am 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. 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,” Flores said.

“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.”

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.

The USA vs. Canada match follows a 4:30pm (EST) match featuring the yet unbeaten England and South Africa.

USA vs Canada

1. Stacy Baker

2. Mari Wallace

3. Lara Vivolvo

4. Jenny Menki

5. Jillion Potter

6. Phaidra Knight

7. Kristin Zdanczewicz

8. Melanie Denham

9. Claudia Braymer

10. Stephanie Bruce

11. Nathalie Marchino

12. Emilie Bydwell

13. Amy Daniels

14. Vanesha Mcgee

15. Ashley English


16. Jamie Bure

17. Lisa Butts

18. Sharon Blaney

19. Blair Groefsema

20. Kim Magrini

21. Melanie Kanuk

22. Christy Ringgenberg