SEATTLE — A northwest women’s Rugby coach is packing her bags for Rio to represent Team USA.

Emilie Bydwell, coach for the Seattle Saracens, will be a team leader as the USA launches their quest for gold on August 6. Rio will be the first ever Olympic games that include women’s rugby.

“This is just a huge opportunity for me and our team,” said Bydwell, who also works at Atavus in Seattle.

Bydwell, who played at Brown University and is a three-time All-American, won a bronze medal in the 2013 World Cup. But the Olympics is a dream come true.

“To be able to give back in this way as a staff member is really rewarding,” she said. “More than anything, I’m just excited for the players.”

Team USA is currently seeded fifth and has been drawn into the challenging Pool A, which also features Australia, Fiji, and Columbia.

This will also mark the first time for men’s Rugby in the Olympics since 1924 when the USA won gold in the standard 15-a-side version of the game. This will mark the first time Rugby Sevens will be played in the Olympic Games.

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