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Thread: 2024 Wallaroos PreSeason Thread

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    2024 Wallaroos PreSeason Thread

    Force quintet called into Wallaroos squad including uncapped trio

    Tue, Apr 30, 2024, 6:15 AM
    Ben Somerford


    Western Force quintet Michaela Leonard, Hera-Barb Malcolm Heke, Trilleen Pomare, Samantha Wood and Tamika Jones have been called up for the Wallaroos’ squad for the upcoming Pacific Four series.

    Force lock Leonard will once again deputise as Australia captain, while Kalamunda inside centre and Force skipper Pomare earns the opportunity to add to her 23 international caps.

    Uncapped Kalamunda pair Malcolm Heke and Wood have received their maiden Wallaroos call-ups following excellent campaigns in the 2024 Buildcorp Super Rugby Women’s.

    Joondalup product Tamika Jones has been selected in the development squad, who’ll join the camp ahead of the opening game of the series. The Wallaroos will play Canada (May 11, Sydney), USA (May 17, Melbourne) and New Zealand (May 25, Auckland) in the series.

    Force head coach Dylan Parsons said: “It’s awesome to see two of our leaders, Michaela and Trilleen be recognised again. The Wallaroos have really selected through performances, so it’s great recognition for those two.

    “To have local girls Sammy, Hera-Barb and Tamika recognised, it shows they’ve worked really hard and they’ve performed really well throughout the season. It shows there’s a pathway to Wallaroos here too.”

    ARKS product and 19-year-old scrum-half Wood’s call-up comes following a breakout campaign having debuted in Round 5 last year. Wood started every game in 2024, assisting several tries and primarily taking kicking duties with 10 penalties and five conversions.

    On Wood, Parsons said: “She’s someone that works really hard at her craft. She’s very dedicated to her goals and Wallaroos is definitely one of her goals.

    “She’s an ARKS junior who moved to Kalamunda to play her senior rugby. For her to get experience at Waikato in the Farah Palmer Cup last year set her up to give her confidence that she can play at this level. When she came back to us, she hit the ground running and had a great season. The reward is going into a Wallaroos squad.”

    Kalamunda hooker Malcolm Heke, 24, took her game to another level in 2024, with her driving runs forward and tough tackling in defence. The front-rower played all six games and scored three tries.

    On Malcolm Heke, Parsons said: “We see huge potential going forward with her. That’s why she’s on an extended contract as well. We’re really excited about continuing to work with her after the Super W season.

    “She’s got something that a lot of players don’t have, when she hits, she hits. To have someone like that, with a point of difference to go into an international set-up, she’s built for that type of physicality. We’re really excited to see how she progresses with that opportunity.”

    Back-rower Jones, 20, had previously been involved with Wallaroos camps before an injury-cursed 2023, with 2024 marking a return to fitness and form in the number 8 role where she started every Force game.

    Jones, who won the Force’s Rebecca Clough medal and Super W Members’ MVP awards in 2022, needed surgery in 2023 after breaking her tibia and fibula, only to discover a complication with the screw nailed into a tendon seven months later, setting her back further.

    On Jones, Parsons said: “She’s worked really hard to come back form that injury. For her to come back in Round 1 and play 80 minutes every game and in a new position as well is fantastic. Number 8 is a position she’s played a little bit of but not consistently.

    “To add that to her repertoire as a rugby player at only 20, shows how rounded she is and how much potential she has. The Wallaroos are pretty excited about her versatility and we’re happy that she’s getting recognised but we know there’s more to come from her.”

    Tickets for the Pacific Four series are available at Ticketek while fans catch the action live ad-free and on demand on Stan Sport.

    2024 WALLAROOS SQUAD - PACIFIC FOUR SERIES

    Allana Sikimeti* (ACT Brumbies) – uncapped

    Asoiva (Eva) Karpani (NSW Waratahs) – 21 caps

    Brianna Hoy (NSW Waratahs) – 3 caps

    Bridie O'Gorman (NSW Waratahs) – 17 caps

    Sally Fuesaina* (ACT Brumbies) - uncapped

    Hera-Barb Malcolm Heke* (Western Force) – uncapped

    Tania Naden (ACT Brumbies) – 10 caps

    Kaitlan Leaney (NSW Waratahs) – 15 caps

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

    Tiarah Minns* (Melbourne Rebels) – uncapped

    Ashley Marsters (Melbourne Rebels) – 26 caps

    Atasi Lafai (NSW Waratahs) – 9 caps

    Leilani Nathan (NSW Waratahs) – 2 caps

    Lydia Kavoa* (ACT Brumbies) – uncapped

    Siokapesi Palu (ACT Brumbies) – 6 caps

    Piper Duck (NSW Waratahs) – 10 caps

    Tabua Tuinakauvadra (ACT Brumbies) – 4 caps

    Layne Morgan (NSW Waratahs) – 19 caps

    Samantha Wood* (Western Force) – uncapped

    Arabella McKenzie (NSW Waratahs) – 21 caps

    Faitala Moleka (ACT Brumbies) – 6 caps

    Cecilia Smith (Queensland Reds) – 12 caps

    Georgina Friedrichs (NSW Waratahs) – 19 caps

    Shalom Sauaso* (Queensland Reds) – uncapped

    Trilleen Pomare (Western Force) – 24 caps

    Biola Dawa* (ACT Brumbies) – uncapped

    Desiree Miller (NSW Waratahs) – 2 caps

    Maya Stewart (NSW Waratahs) – 8 caps

    Caitlyn Halse* (NSW Waratahs) – uncapped

    Lori Cramer (Queensland Reds) – 19 caps

    *denotes potential debutant


    WALLAROOS DEVELOPMENT SQUAD

    Ashley Fernandez (ACT Brumbies)

    Ashlea Bishop (ACT Brumbies)

    Brittany Merlo (NSW Waratahs)

    Janita Kareta (Queensland Reds)

    Melanie Wilks (Queensland Reds)

    Natalie Wright (Queensland Reds)

    Skye Churchill (NSW Waratahs)

    Tamika Jones (Western Force)

    Tiarna Molloy (Queensland Reds)

    Waiaria Ellis (NSW Waratahs)


    PACIFIC FOUR SERIES

    Wallaroos v Canada – Saturday May 11, Allianz Stadium, Sydney 2:45pm (WST)

    Wallaroos v USA – Friday, May 17, AAMI Park, Melbourne 2:45pm (WST)

    Wallaroos v New Zealand – Saturday, May 25, North Harbour Stadium, Auckland 2:05pm (WST)

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    Interesting points-
    Leonard said to be "deputising as Captain", though Duck is in the Squad. Perhaps a Grand Final niggle that will keep Duck out of the first match?

    Ash Masters listed amongst the Backrow, though recently playing in the Centers and capped as a Hooker.

    No Grace Hamilton (injury?)

    Tah Championship starters Brittany Merlo, Skye Churchill (both Development Squad) and Katrina Barker (must be injured?) omitted don't make the 30.

    9 potential debutants, would indicate an increased standard across the comp.

    For the Force-
    If not injured, I would have expected consideration given to McGehan and Wigley.
    Not sure the availability of Ledington and Nona.
    One I thought might have made the Development Squad if only for versatility was Teki-Joyce.

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    The National version, includes Capped but Injured list. Still no Hamilton, have to wonder if she is heading back to NRLW or overseas.

    Jo Yapp announces first Wallaroos squad as nine debutants confirmed for Pacific Four Series

    Tue, Apr 30, 2024, 5:57 AM
    Nathan Williamson


    Wallaroos coach Jo Yapp has shaken up the squad ahead of the Pacific Four series, naming nine debutants in the 30-player squad - presented by Cadbury.

    16-year-old Shalom Sauaso is the biggest inclusion, continuing a breakout season for the powerhouse centre.

    Sauaso scored on her starting debut for the Queensland Reds in Super Rugby W, coming off an MVP performance in the World School Sevens at the end of 2023.

    She is joined by fellow teenagers Allana Sikimeti and Caitlyn Halse, with Halse one of 13 NSW Waratahs players to be selected following Sunday’s grand final victory.

    Sikimeti's Brumbies teammates Sally Fuesaina, Biola Dawa and Lydia Kavoa have also received maiden call-ups alongside Rebels lock Tiarah Minns.

    Western Force scrumhalf Samantha Wood and hooker Hera-Barb Malcolm Heke were rewarded for strong Super Rugby W seasons, guiding the club to the semi-finals for the first time in their history.

    It reflects a new look to Yapp's squad, who will open their account against Canada on May 11, with regulars such as Ivania Wong, Emily Robinson, Sera Naiqama and Annabelle Codey amongst the high profile omissions.

    Western Force lock Michaela Leonard will retain the captaincy, with Waratahs number eight Piper Duck returning to the squad after her season-ending injury in 2023.

    Yapp has also confirmed ten players will join the squad as part of a development squad, headlined by 16-year-old Waiaria Ellis.

    “The Super Rugby Women's competition has been really competitive and has given us a great opportunity to not only observe our managed group but up-and-coming players too," Yapp said in a statement.

    "We feel the squad we have selected for the Pacific Four series gives us a good mix of experience and youth. We are really looking forward to getting into camp and kick starting the competition against Canada.

    "We will also bring in 10 development players into the training squad for the first six days. It is important that we start to expose more players to that next level up. We won’t know if they can take that step unless we give them the opportunity to do so."

    The Wallaroos host Canada at Allianz Stadium on May 11 before shifting to Melbourne where they’ll take on the USA at AAMI Park on May 17. Their final match of the series will be played in Auckland against New Zealand on May 25.

    Tickets for the Pacific Four series are available for purchase at Wallaroos.Rugby/tickets

    I have removed the selections as repeat of first post...

    Capped players unavailable for selection due to injury

    Emily Chancellor

    Bree-Anna Cheatham

    Jasmin Huriwai

    Adiana Talakai

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    Comments from the Australian Schools Fbk page-

    Yesterday, the Wallaroos squad for 2024 was announced, and it features two members of our Australian Schoolgirls teams: Shalom Sauaso and Waiaria Ellis.
    Shalom has been the up-and-coming star of the Queensland Reds this season, with Waiaria Ellis playing with the victorious Waratahs. Shalom is a squad member with Waiaria in the Wallaroos Development Team.
    What’s more, they are both only 16 years old, still at school, and the youngest ever to be selected for the Wallaroos squad—only four months after representing Australia in the Australian Schoolgirl Sevens last December.
    This is in addition to Shalom, Waiaria, and Elise Simpson, being selected in Rugby Australia’s winning U18 Sevens Team in December, with Heidi Dennis and Ruby Nicholas, who in February were selected to represent the senior Australian Sevens team, with possible future representation in Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028.

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    Possible selection for first match, a couple of positions a little sketchy and "what to do" (what are they planning to do) with Ash Masters.
    I've Masters selected to cover 2-6-7-12-13 (gotta be a first in Test Rugby, at a pinch she's probably got 1 & 3 covered as well...) but primarily as a Back, with two specialist Hookers.
    This gives a 5.5-2.5 split, pretty risky but most of the Backs are 80 minute players.
    As only two 9's in the Squad, this should mean both Sammy Wood and Hera-Barb Malcolm Heke are Capped!
    Personally I would have gone with Tamika Jones in the full Squad, to add mongrel in the Backrow, I think inevitable she will get called up though.

    1 Bridie O'Gorman (NSW Waratahs) – 17 caps
    2 Tania Naden (ACT Brumbies) – 10 caps
    3 Eva Karpani (NSW Waratahs) – 21 caps
    4 Kaitlan Leaney (NSW Waratahs) – 15 caps
    5 Michaela Leonard (c) (Western Force) – 22 caps
    6 Leilani Nathan (NSW Waratahs) – 2 caps
    7 Lydia Kavoa* (ACT Brumbies) – uncapped
    8 Piper Duck (NSW Waratahs) – 10 caps
    9 Layne Morgan (NSW Waratahs) – 19 caps
    10 Arabella McKenzie (NSW Waratahs) – 21 caps
    11 Desiree Miller (NSW Waratahs) – 2 caps
    12 Cecilia Smith (Queensland Reds) – 12 caps
    13 Georginia Friedrichs (NSW Waratahs) – 19 caps
    14 Maya Stewart (NSW Waratahs) – 8 caps
    15 Caitlyn Halse* (NSW Waratahs) – uncapped

    16 Hera-Barb Malcolm Heke* (Western Force) – uncapped
    17 Brianna Hoy (NSW Waratahs) – 3 caps
    18 Allana Sikimeti* (ACT Brumbies) – uncapped
    19 Tiarah Minns* (Melbourne Rebels) – uncapped
    20 Atasi Lafai (NSW Waratahs) – 9 caps
    21 Samantha Wood* (Western Force) – uncapped
    22 Ashley Marsters (Melbourne Rebels) – 26 caps
    23 Shalom Sauaso* (Queensland Reds) – uncapped

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    Wallaroos confirm Test match against Ireland ahead of WXV

    Thu, May 2, 2024, 4:57 PM
    Nathan Williamson


    The Wallaroos have confirmed they will play Ireland for the first time in seven years at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on September 14.

    Jo Yapp's side will take on the Irish ahead of WXV, with Ireland locking themselves in the top competition after wins over Scotland and Wales.

    The two teams last played at the 2017 Rugby World Cup, with Australia taking a 36-24 win.

    Trilleen Pomare is the lone remaining player in the Wallaroos squad from that match, gaining revenge after their defeat in the group stages.

    "We are really excited by the opportunity to play Ireland in Belfast ahead of the WXV," Yapp said in a statement.

    “Ireland have moved up in the rankings this year and will provide our players with a great challenge of playing against a tough and improved side overseas."

    The confirmation of the Test comes as part of an expanded calendar for the Wallaroos in 2024, who entered camp today in Sydney.

    The Wallaroos put in a brave performance in their opening match of the 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup against host nation Ireland. Falling short of a stunning win, with the hosts narrowly getting away with a 19-17 victory.
    They will open their campaign against Canada on May 11 at Allianz Stadium, beginning their Pacific Four Series.

    The Australians will also play internationals against Fijiana and New Zealand in July, with a further Test to be confirmed as the build continues for the 2025 Rugby World Cup.

    "It's crucial our team is exposed to Test matches like these and away from home leading into the WXV competition," Yapp added.

    “We look forward to that match-up when it comes, but for the time being our focus is on starting well against Canada in the Pacific Four series.”

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