With a combined total of 40 years of coaching and playing experience including 23 years of international competition, Candi Orsini has had a profound impact on the sport of women’s rugby in the United States.
Orsini began her rugby career with the Florida State University Women’s Rugby Football Club in 1975 and helped lead the team to 13 finals appearances and four national championships during a 23-year span. She was selected to the All-Tournament Team every year. At the time, FSU Women’s Rugby did not require players to be enrolled at FSU, but players could be alumni or locals, resulting in Orsini’s 23-year career with the club. Orsini also represented the East, South, and Florida Select Teams multiple times and was a member of WIVERN (Women's International Vagabonds, Emissaries, and Rugby Nomads), the first unofficial U.S.A. Women’s Team in 1985.
In 1990, she was selected to the “President’s XV” at the World Rugby Festival and along with teammates and fellow U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame inductees Patty Jervey and Kathy Flores, was selected for the All-World Team. The following year she represented the U.S. Women’s Rugby Eagles at the inaugural 1991 Women’s Rugby World Cup where she was a member of the historic 1991 Women’s Rugby World Cup Champion Eagles, helping lead the team to a 19-6 win over England in the Final. She also represented the United States at the 1994 and 1998 Women’s Rugby World Cups, finishing second in both competitions. Orsini played with the first unofficial U.S.A. 7s Women’s Team, “Atlantis,” at the 1996 Hong Kong 7s tournament.
Candi continued her notable rugby career as a coach beginning in 1999, when she became a position specialist coach for the U.S.A. Women’s National Team. She later became an assistant coach for both the Berkeley All Blues and the Pacific Coast Grizzlies. Orsini then went on to become Assistant Coach and Head Backs Coach for the USA Rugby Women's National Team for the 2006 and 2010 Rugby World Cup campaigns. Her coaching stints included: as assistant coach with the Orlando men’s team; head coach of the women’s team at Eckerd College where she built the program from five players to 40 players, had two undefeated seasons and was voted Club of the Year twice; assistant coach for the Sarasota Men's Rugby Club when they were Florida State Champions; and assistant coach for the Dartmouth College women’s team where they were runner-ups in the 2015 Ivy League Championships. Candi is currently serving as a coach for the Sarasota Men’s Rugby Club.