Kanuk, Braymer ready for the World Cup

"We know that every team has earned the right to be there, and we know we have to play hard against every team," said Kanuk.

"Every game is going to be difficult," said Braymer. "Ireland is going to be quick and scrappy, and thus a difficult opponent. England is also a major force that we will have to overcome."

Just because the U.S. is in a difficult pool doesn't mean it doesn't have a chance, though.

"We play a very physical match," said Kanuk. "We expect to bring that to every match we play, and we expect other teams to try to push us physically."

As a center/fly half, Kanuk will be in the thick of the fight trying to score points for the U.S. team. But she said that it doesn't matter who gets into the end zone for a "try" " rugby's equivalent of a touchdown in American football.

"In all of our team dis-cussions, we don't set aside for certain people to score," said Kanuk. "Everyone should be able to score. Our goal is to be an attacking threat from several positions, not just one."

Braymer, who will be a scrumhalf, said her role on the team will be more noticeable on the sidelines than on the scoreboard.

"I have a lot of positive energy to bring to the team, so my role will likely involve keeping people's spirits high, especially during challenging times both on and off the field," said Braymer.

The Women's Rugby World Cup continues through Sept. 5. After that, Braymer and Kanuk both said they plan to take some time off from playing.

"What I intend to do after the World Cup is to take some time and focus on the things that I put on the backburner " build my [personal training] career and maybe travel a bit," said Kanuk.

"I love the sport and will continue to be involved with rugby for the forsee-able future," said Braymer, "but I think after World Cup, I will take a step back from highly competitive play and focus on coaching and [refereeing].""

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