On Monday, December 3rd, former USA Rugby Eagles, Anne McClain, officially landed on the International Space Station, making her the first USA Rugby Eagle in space.
McClain played for the Eagles from 2002 – 2006. She took a 15 month hiatus from international play, because she was deployed to Iraq. She returned to national play, when she finished her deployment. McClain almost participated in the 2006 Rugby World Cup when she received her call from NASA to become an astronaut. She was officially selected as an astronaut in 2013, and this will be her first space flight since selection.
McClain is not the only former Eagle at NASA. Jessica Watkins, a former member of the USA Rugby Eagles Women’s Sevens team from 2009-2014, will be completing her astronaut training in 2019. Watkins, received her Ph’D in Geology from UCLA, but got her undergraduate degree from Stanford where she was also three time All-American rugby star for them.
Watkins was selected as a member of the NASA Astronaut Group 22 in June 2017. She will complete her training in 2019. Her focus has been on working on preparations for missions to Mars.