Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Women's 7s Headed to Brazil, Eagles Make One Change

Who knew that Brazil 7s was so quick around the corner?

I knew it was the next stop on the iRB tour but had didn't quite realize that Sao Paulo is this weekend until one of my Eagles friends mentioned that with travel they basically have a 4 day turnaround to acclimate and prepare. Atlanta came to a conclusion just on Sunday and Sao Paulo kicks off this Friday. These amazing athletes ended 2 days of intense competition in the snow and cold, hop on a plane for several hours, and landed today in Brazil to 98 degree weather in the rainiest season of the year. Plus they kick off on Friday the 21st, the rugby equivalent of having played a Monday Night Football game and losing a vital recovery day. It's hard enough to condition and train for such high level competition, but dealing with all these elements with a quick turnaround is intense! Much respect to all the women traveling and playing this weekend.

 The Eagles landed in Brazil and immediately hit the pitch. 
Photo: Twitter, courtesy Eagles trainer Nicole Titmas

The Eagles have only one change for the roster this weekend which seems wise as the team really clicked on Day 2 of the tournament. They are bringing in another crossover athlete in Lorrie Clifford to replace the injured Irene Gardner. She is a recent rugby convert, coming to the game via a D1 college basketball career; we wish her as stunning of a an iRB 7s debut as Jessica Javelet had in Atlanta.

Rugby Magazine has more information:

Roster Change for USA Women 7s in Brazil
Written by Jackie Finlan    Monday, 17 February 2014 12:50   

Roster Change for USA Women 7s in Brazil
Sevens - USA Sevens Women

The USA Women 7s has made one roster change to the team that will compete at Brazil 7s, the third leg of the IRB Women's Sevens World Series. The two-day Sao Paulo event is making its debut on the IRB women's circuit and will commence this Friday, Feb. 21.

Irene Gardner during the USA's pool play game against Canada. (Paul Rudman photo)
Irene Gardner during the USA's pool play game against Canada. (Paul Rudman photo)
Irene Gardner was injured during day one of the Atlanta 7s last weekend and has been replaced by Lorrie Clifford. Gardner was one of two non-contracted players in Atlanta (Christy Ringgenberg was the other) and was substituted into the Eagles' opener against Canada (photo) for her only appearance.

Clifford is a former DI basketball player for Western Oregon and entered the Eagle pool last summer after attending a crossover camp at the Chula Vista OTC. The Eagle River, Alaska, native was contracted in August 2013, got her first taste of international 7s with the Serevi Selects at the Coral Coast 7s, and then debuted for the Eagles at the Dubai 7s in November.

The USA will play Atlanta 7s champion New Zealand, England and Ireland during Brazil 7s pool play. Of the three teams, the Eagles played England last weekend, beating the Roses 19-5 in the Plate semifinals. The USA went on to win the Plate 22-0 over Spain.

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