Rozier primed to shine in Moscow

(IRB.COM) Tuesday 25 June 2013  
 Rozier primed to shine in Moscow
Kimber Rozier in training at the magnificent Luzhniki Stadium complex which boasts nine outside pitches

USA star Kimber Rozier is ready to make the most of her first ever World Cup experience.

A relative newcomer to international rugby, Rozier has impressed this season as a tough-tackling playmaker for USA and is relishing her new life in Sevens.

"One of my personal aims is just to make sure I enjoy every moment of this experience. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am loving it so far. I am not sure what I expected from Moscow but from what I have seen it is a really cool city and is very beautiful. As a team we are also really happy with the hotel and the facilities and the pitches. It is incredibly professional.

"One of things I like is that we are staying in the same place the other teams, especially here in Moscow as the women’s and men’s teams are in the same hotel. We have made lots of friends with other players in other teams and you get to know people from around the hotel so it’s nice to see what it’s like for other countries at these events. It adds to the enjoyment of the tournament.

“This week we are looking at a pool session in the morning and then a really good work out. We usually do a second pool session later to loosen up after practice and we have a lot of meetings. But the good thing is that you also get plenty of time to relax and immerse yourself in the city. That’s a lot of fun. 

USA are certainly one of the teams to look out for in Moscow. Having finished fourth in the first ever Women’s World Series, they can mix it at the top and, under the guidance of head coach Ric Suggitt, they have high hopes going into the pool phase against Spain, Fiji and Brazil.

"We have been progressing a lot this season," Rozier added. "We had a pretty slow start in Dubai and we ended up in the Bowl final but it was important that we saw the bigger picture and we kept working very hard.  Over the season we have improved our defence a lot and I think a big factor for us is our fitness. We work really hard on that and we are pleased with where we at on that front. It is now about bringing our A-game on Saturday.”

USA have measurably improved since their early struggles in Dubai, going all the way to the Cup final in Houston (which Rozier cites as her season's highlight), finishing fourth in China and winning the Plate in Amsterdam. Now training has begun to ramp up in Moscow as they aim to do even better this weekend.

“We had to get over some jet lag getting here this week and so the first few sessions were about getting ourselves really stretched out and over that. We are now starting to focus on the teams and the games. We think we are going to get some really tough matches from Spain, Fiji and Brazil so nothing will be easy.”

And which of the teams have most impressed Rozier on our this season?

“If I was to pick out any team to have been really impressed recently I would have to say Russia. They are the home team here and will have that advantage. Over the past few tournaments they have really made some awesome improvements so it will be really exciting to watch them play.”

Video: USA Women's Sevens - Houston highlights