DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Whitefish’s Nicole Heavirland will captain the U.S. women’s national rugby sevens team as it begins its new season Thursday morning at the Dubai 7s tournament.
Heavirland has been on the national team for parts of the last two seasons, playing in all six series for the Eagles last season and beginning her run as captain in the last stop of the season in France.
She will head a young team this season that is preparing for the World Cup next summer in San Francisco. The Eagles finished sixth in the world last year, while finishing top five in overall points, tries and conversions.
The U.S. opens this season in Pool A of the Dubai 7s, playing France in its first match at 2:28 a.m. MT. The Eagles will play South Africa at 5:24 a.m., and four-time defending champion New Zealand at 8:43 a.m. The U.S. won its last match against France, but lost the last three to New Zealand, all in close matches. All games will be broadcast live at TheRugbyChannel.tv.
Heavirland finished third on the team in scoring last season with 83 points.