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MX News Update 2024


Wallaroos name THREE debutants for the clash with Canada, with big names on the bench

A new era for the Wallaroos begins in earnest this weekend, with new coach Jo Yapp naming three debutants to her side to take on Canada ahead of their first game at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.

The girls in gold haven’t beaten the Canadian side since 2014, but with the growing momentum behind the Australian match and a number of big scalps coming towards the end of last year’s WXV1 campaign, there is a growing feeling that the Wallaroos can build on the basics. by former coach Jay Tregonning.

The side will be hungry to make up for last year’s final result in Ottawa – which saw the hosts run out 45-7 winners to deny the Wallaroos second place in the league.

Of particular note is the increased presence of Brumbies and Western Force players in the Yapp side, a reflection of their growing programs and improving performances domestically. The Force’s Hera-Barb Malcolm Heke and Samantha Wood and the Brumbies’ Sally Fuesaina will make their debuts from the bench, hoping to build on a strong Super Rugby Women’s season.

Force veteran Michaela Leonard retains the captaincy, while a strong loose forward in Piper Duck, Ashley Marsters and Siokapesi Palu will make the overall game considerably more physical.

Experienced Waratah pair Layne Morgan and Arabella McKenzie in the halves complement national standouts Trilleen Pomare and Georgina Friedrichs in the centres, while Queensland Red Lori Cramer is joined by Tahs pair Desiree Miller and Maya Stewart in the back three.

The most interesting callings, however, are in the front row, with 2023 Wallaroo Player of the Year Eva Karpani set to come off the bench alongside Fuesaina, while Waratah supporters Brianna Hoy and Bridie O’Gorman will start.

In a growing reflection of the increased playing time the Wallaroos have received, Cramer, Morgan and Friedrichs will earn their 20th cap for the national team.

Maya Stewart will complete a dangerous trio of fellow Waratah Desiree Miller and Queensland Red Lori Cramer. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

In conversation with Nathan Williamson op was confident that growing confidence, experience, more playing time and a promising domestic season would see the side end their losing streak against their Northern Hemisphere rivals.

“We are really happy with the way the squad has developed over the past week and training in Blacktown was a great environment for the players to prepare in camp,” admitted the new Wallaroos coach.

“Hera-Barb, Sam and Sally all deserve the chance to make their debuts and I look forward to them making an impact in this team.

“The girls are excited to play their first test match of the year and put in a good performance at the Allianz Stadium in front of our home fans.”

Jo Yapp says she wants to lead the Wallaroos to the top four. Photo: Rugby Australia

Wallaroos Squad takes on Canada – 4:55pm AEST, Allianz Stadium, Sydney

1. Brianna Hoy (NSW Waratahs) – 3 caps

2. Tania Naden (ACT Brumbies) – 10 caps

3. Bridie O’Gorman (NSW Waratahs) – 17 caps

4. Kaitlan Leaney (NSW Waratahs) – 15 caps

5. Michaela Leonard (c) (Western Force) – 22 caps

6. Siokapesi Palu (ACT Brumbies) – 6 caps

7. Ashley Marsters (Melbourne Rebels) – 26 caps

8. Piper Duck (NSW Waratahs) – 10 capsules

9. Layne Morgan (NSW Waratahs) – 19 caps

10. Arabella McKenzie (NSW Waratahs) – 21 caps

11. Desiree Miller (NSW Waratahs) – 2 caps

12. Trilleen Pomare (Western Force) – 24 caps

13. Georgina Friedrichs (NSW Waratahs) – 19 caps

14. Maya Stewart (NSW Waratahs) – 8 caps

15. Lori Cramer (Queensland Reds) – 19 caps


16. Hera-Barb Malcolm Heke* (Western Force)

17 Sally Fuesaina* (ACT Brumbies)

18. Eva Karpani (NSW Waratahs) – 21 caps

19. Atasi Lafai (NSW Waratahs) – 9 caps

20. Leilani Nathan (NSW Waratahs) – 2 caps

21. Tabua Tuinakauvadra (ACT Brumbies) – 4 caps

22. Samantha Wood* (Western Force)

23. Faitala Moleka (ACT Brumbies) – 6 caps