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Wallaroos ready for New Zealand challenge

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Wallaroos Head Coach Paul Verrell has named a new look side ahead of the team’s second Test of the International Women’s Rugby Series on Tuesday 12 June at 12:45pm AEST, where they will face New Zealand’s Black Ferns at Christchurch’s Rugby Park.

A total of eight changes have been made to the starting XV that ran out against England in Wellington.

 

After joining the squad in camp ahead of the England game, Australian Women’s Sevens captain and Olympic Gold Medalist Sharni Williams has been named at outside centre, earning her first Wallaroos Test cap in over three years.

Head coach Paul Verrell said: “Having someone like Sharni Williams in the squad for this Test is great, she brings a lot of experience to the side and she’ll link with one of our younger players in Kayla (Sauvao) in the centres who will learn a lot from the opportunity.”

In the frontrow, props Hana Ngaha and Caroline Fairs have been named to start at Loose-head and tight-head respectively, packing down with Cheyenne Campbell to form an all Queensland frontrow. The match will be Fairs’ first Test since the 2014 World Cup, after suffering a near career-ending neck injury in training.

ACT lock Millie Boyle has been promoted to the starting side, after making her debut off the bench against England. Alexandra Sulusi has also been named in the starting XV, and will earn her first cap of the tour.

In the backrow, Western Australia flanker Vesinia Schaaf-Taufa has been named at openside-flanker, with Chloe Butler moving to the blindside while Victoria Latu remains at Number 8.

NSW Country scrumhalf Katrina Barker will start at scrumhalf, with Cobie Jane-Morgan moving to the wing.

Fenella Hake and Kayla Sauvao will both remain at flyhalf and inside centre respectively, while Sunnybank’s Samantha Trehearne has been promoted to start on the wing after making her debut in Wellington.

On the bench, Liz Patu, Hilisha Samoa and Violeta Tupuola will provide frontrow cover, Alisha Hewett and Kiri Lingman will provide cover for the locks and backrow respectively, while Ashleigh Timoko, Sarah Riordan and Nareta Marsters have been named as back reserves.

“We’ve named a side for this Test with no new debutants, everyone is capped,” said Verrell.

“We’ve made a number of changes to the side, introducing fresh players into the squad with the short turnaround ahead of the New Zealand Test. We’re also trying to give everyone an opportunity, but we believe the side we’ve named are up to the challenge.

“New Zealand are arguably the form side in Women’s XV Rugby at the moment and the chance to face them ahead of the World Cup later this year will be a great benefit for our side as we continue our preparation.”

1. Hana Ngaha, Queensland, 2 Tests

2. Cheyenne Campbell, Queensland, 10 Tests

3. Caroline Fairs, Queensland, ADF, 8 Tests

4. Millie Boyle, ACT, 1 Test

5. Alexandra Sulusi, Sydney, 2 Tests

6. Chloe Butler, South Australia Barbarians, 6 Tests

7.  Vesinia Schaaf-Taufa, Western Australia, 2 Tests

8. Victoria Latu, Sydney, 1 Test

9. Katrina Barker, NSW Country, 3 Tests

10. Fenella Hake, Queensland, 1 Test

11. Samantha Treherne, Queensland, 1 Test

12. Kayla Sauvao, Sydney, 1 Test

13. Sharni Williams, Australian Women’s Sevens, 13 Tests

14. Cobie-Jane Morgan, Sydney, wing, 14 Tests

15. Ashleigh Hewson, Sydney, fullback, 13 Tests (captain)

Reserves

16. Liz Patu, Queensland, 10 Tests

17. Violeta Tupuola, ACT, 1 Test

18. Hilisha Samoa, Queensland, 1 Test

19. Alisha Hewett, Queensland, ADF, 10 Tests

20. Kiri Lingman, Queensland, flanker, 1 Test

21. Ashleigh Timoko, Western Australia, 1 Test

22. Sarah Riordan, NSW, ADF, 2 Tests

23. Nareta Marsters, Queensland, 2 Tests