Olympic medallist makes USA squad for China
Little more than a month after winning an Olympic silver medal in Sochi, Elana Meyers has been “thrown right into” the USA Sevens squad for the penultimate round of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series in China next month.
Meyers, who won silver in the women's bobsleigh in Sochi - behind another rugby player in Heather Moyse of Canada, is one of three players named in the Women’s Eagles Sevens squad for the first time, the others being Shaina Turley and Alev Kelter, a former ice hockey and soccer player.
All three have recently earned residency contracts at the Olympic Training Center in the last three months and have impressed coach Ric Suggitt enough to earn a spot in the 12-strong squad for the tournament in Guangzhou on 5-6 April.
“Shaina is a physically and mentally tough competitor,” Suggitt said. “Shaina has a hard work ethic and she will have some specific roles to fulfil in attack and defence during the tournament.
“Elana and Alev have demonstrated enough this past month and now they will be thrown right into the major competition.”
Amelia Villines will captain the Women’s Sevens Eagles in what will be just her fourth tournament on the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series.
One name missing, though, is Jessica Javelet who made an impressive debut in the back-to-back rounds in Atlanta and Sao Paulo last month. She misses out due to a prior commitment.
The Women’s Eagles will face neighbours Canada, Russia and France in Pool C in China.
“We need to look after the ball on the field,” Suggitt said. “We need to execute our decisions and make certain we stay confident no matter what happens. A lot can happen in 14 minutes, we now have to make it happen for us.
“There is no doubt what we have to do to be successful in China: go there in the correct frame of mind and be prepared to play six matches with full intensity.”
Women's Eagles Sevens squads
Victoria Folayan, Kelly Griffin, Jillion Potter, Deven Owsiany, Amelia Villines (captain), Lauren Doyle, Elana Meyers, Shaina Turley, Lorrie Clifford, Dana Meschisi, Alev Kelter, Rebekah Siebach.