USA Rugby announced its World Cup squad for the 2019 Rugby World Championship, which will take place from February 23 to March 6 in Stuttgart, Germany.
The USA will face Russia in the quarterfinals on Friday and Russia in Sunday.
USA Rugby CEO Scott Bernstein said the squad would include five new players, including four from the 2019 World Cup, and that three of the players have already played in the 2019 tournament.
“We are looking forward to hosting a great tournament that will see the USA take the title, and we are excited to introduce players such as All-American wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, who was named to the USA’s World Cup team in 2018, and New York Red Bulls center Felipe Martins, who is also a member of the 2019 squad,” Bernstein said in a statement.
Heyward, Martins and former NFL player and current USA rugby player Kyle Gaudin were among the new additions for the team.
The 2019 USA Rugby World Team is led by former USA Rugby Super Rugby and US Open Cup champion Kyle Gault, who made his international debut in 2019, and also includes the likes of Jamaican international defender Tesho Akindele, and former New Zealand U20 captain Nick Tandy.
The squad is expected to field a roster that includes eight current and former US national team players.
USA Soccer announced that the 2019 USA team will be made up of five players who have competed in the World Cup and one who has been a member for less than a year.
All five players will be eligible to play for the USA at the 2019 Women’s World Rugby Tournament in Canada.
“I’m excited to see the players who were part of the World Cups squad,” said USA Soccer Executive Director of Player Personnel Paul Farhi.
“All of the stars in this squad have shown a great commitment to our national teams and we look forward to seeing them compete in the world cup and at the Women’s Games in Canada in 2019.”
USA Rugby’s World Series team is led from the USA by reigning U.S. Open Cup champions Hope Solo and goalkeeper Erin McLeod.
Solo and McLeod have been members of the USA Women’s National Team for more than two years, and both have been with the USA in both the 2018 and 2019 World Cups.
The team will play a pair of matches on March 7 and 8 at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, Mexico, against Mexico.
The game will be streamed on USA Rugby Live.
USA Women are currently in second place in the NWSL standings with a 10-1-1 record.