The USA Eagles women’s team will duel with Australia’s best in a thrilling Rugby Sevens spectacle alongside the LA Giltinis’ next Major League Rugby home game on March 13 in celebration of #WomensHistoryMonth.
The coup from the trendsetting Giltinis means extra entertainment packed into the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the Utah Warriors game on Sunday week.
Olympic rivals Australia and USA, as well as the A teams of both nations, will play four Sevens games before, after and during half-time at the MLR game at this historical Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which featured the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympic games.
It’s a marvellous match-up because the Australians are riding high as the No.1-ranked women’s sevens team in the world with three tournament wins on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series circuit. They will meet try-scorer supreme Naya Tapper, Ilona Maher, Kristen Thomas, Cheta Emba and the rest of an Eagles outfit fresh from their own tournament triumph in January at the Malaga leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
As the Giltinis’ Head of Strategic Partnerships, Eagles great Todd Clever has been instrumental in co-ordinating the two nations for a rare occasion at the Coliseum. “It will be fantastic, not just to showcase Olympians and their athletic skills but to show the crowd how inclusivity and diversity team-up in the way the Giltinis do things,” Clever said.
The USA and the Australians met twice at last year’s Tokyo Olympics with the Americans winning the pool clash 14-12 and the Aussies flipping the script 17-7 in the play-off for fifth.
“We are thrilled to showcase our games against Australia alongside the Gilitinis’ home match at the Coliseum,” USA women’s sevens coach Emilie Bydwell said.
“With limited opportunities to compete in front of a home crowd, we are excited to test ourselves against the No.1-ranked team in the World Series and with the pressure of a stadium setting."
“A big thank you to the Gilitinis for making this happen and for their support of the women’s game."
“These matches are invaluable for us as we continue our preparations for the remainder of the World Series and the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town (in September).”
Australian women’s head coach Tim Walsh said the chance to play at the centrepiece stadium for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics was magnetic.
“We are bringing our top squad to train in San Diego for a week so the opportunity to finish with authentic games at an iconic stadium with the pressure of a pro-US crowd is exactly what you want,” Walsh said.
“We will be playing against an excellent USA team. We played the USA at the Rio and Tokyo Olympics so we have history and a record of good battles."
“It was great to have the background of coaching the Australian men’s sevens team with Giltinis head Coach Steve Hoiles in 2020 to help make this possible.”
Australian Wallaby and Giltinis General Manager Adam Freier said the event reflected the rugby values that the club holds dear and promotes at every opportunity.
“Women play an incredible part in the fabric of our sport, with women’s rugby being one of the fastest growing sports on the planet. Diversity, respect and excellence are some of the core values of rugby,” Freier said.
“As part of Women’s History Month, we will celebrate and also recognize these incredible athletes, as well as all of the women in our organisation (featured below) who are working hard for Los Angeles to be the country’s rugby capital heading towards the 2028 Olympics."
“It will be a great occasion to celebrate this with our friends from the Utah Warriors in a Western Conference Finals re-match, who I know as an organization share similar values.”
2015/16 World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Year Charlotte Caslick, who recently scored her 100th World Series try, is a confirmed starter.
The appetite for sevens from Californian crowds is well known. Having some of the best women’s Sevens players in the world in national colours at the Coliseum is a crowd-puller when fans have been starved of fast-paced sevens for too long.
Dan Payne, the High Performance General Manager for USA Rugby, applauded a partnership that will benefit both sevensnations and Giltinis’ fans.
“This is excellence in every form with two of the world’s top Olympic teams, an iconic venue where the Olympic flame has burned brightly, pairing with MLR and playing in a city like Los Angeles,” Payne said.
“This is a great opportunity extended by the LA Giltinis for our women to display their skills and expertise against Australia in the city where both with compete for gold in 2028."
“The Giltinis have developed a brand that represents excellence in every aspect. This opportunity reinforces that fact.”
Tickets for the historic ‘Festival of LA Rugby’ on March 13 start at just $30 and are now available at www.giltinis.com.
The Giltinis face the Austin Gilgronis at Bold Stadium in Texas on Saturday. The match will be broadcast live at 5pm PST on Bally Sports SoCal and Bally Sports West in Los Angeles. The match can also be viewed live on The Rugby Network internationally.
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