Rebels Super W Captain Ashley Marsters spearheads Jay Tregonning’s 30-player Wallaroos travelling squad for the upcoming Laurie O'Reilly Cup Test against New Zealand, and World Rugby’s season-ending WXV1 tournament.
The Wallaroos are at the halfway point of the season, having played four Test matches – winning two – and with four more to play against powerhouses New Zealand, England, France and Wales to finish the year.
Wallaroos Captain Piper Duck has been omitted from the travelling squad due to recent ankle surgery, with 18-cap Michaela Leonard stepping in as captain – as she has done throughout the year while Duck has been dealing with injury.
There are four uncapped players in a squad that has a healthy dose of youth and experience, including the Next Gen 7s & Queensland Reds player Melanie Wilks, Waratahs loosehead prop Brianna Hoy, as well as previous squad members in Waratahs winger Desiree Miller and Waratahs forward Leilani Nathan.
Also notable is the return of influential lock Atasi Lafai, who suffered a devastating ankle injury at last year’s Rugby World Cup, which she has been rehabbing for almost a full year.
Despite the heavy focus on developing talent, half of the 30 players have ten caps or more in an indication of the experience developing in what is still a young squad.
Head Coach Jay Tregonning says the Wallaroos squad is eager to finish off their season in strong fashion.
“It was great to have the majority of the managed squad in camp during the first week of September at Ballymore, the new home for women’s rugby,” Tregonning said.
“From this camp, the selectors have chosen a squad of 30 leading into the upcoming Laurie O’Reilly Cup and WXV tournament.
“We are excited to get back out there and to continue to test ourselves against the best teams in the World.
“The squad remains largely the same from the Pacific Four Series as we look to continue to build combinations and Test experience. New Zealand into England, France and Wales is an exciting way to finish up the 2023 season.
“I am particularly happy for Atasi Lafai – she had a tough break with her injury at the World Cup last year.
The grit and determination that she has shown during what has been a long rehab journey for her this year has been a testament to her character.”
The team will assemble at the Ballymore National Rugby Training Centre in Brisbane this Friday 22nd September, before travelling to Hamilton in New Zealand on the 27th to face the Black Ferns in the Laurie O’Reilly Cup.
The Wallaroos' WXV1 campaign kicks off against England in Wellington on the 20th October. The Laurie O’Reilly Cup and all Wallaroos games from WXV1 will be available to view for Australian fans live, on-demand and ad-free on Stan Sport.
WALLAROOS SQUAD FOR O'REILLY CUP AND WXV1 MATCHES
Emily Chancellor – 32 – Harlequins – 19 caps
Bree-Anna Cheatham – 26 – Queensland Reds – 5 caps
Annabelle Codey – 26 – Queensland Reds – 4 caps
Brianna Hoy – 23 – NSW Waratahs – uncapped
Eva Karpani – 27 – NSW Waratahs – 17 caps
Atasi Lafai – 29 – NSW Waratahs – 6 caps
Kaitlan Leaney – 22 – Harlequins – 11 caps
Michaela Leonard (c) – 28 – Western Force – 18 caps
Ashley Marsters – 29 – Melbourne Rebels – 23 caps
Tania Naden – 31 – ACT Brumbies – 6 caps
Sera Naiqama – 28 – NSW Waratahs – 10 caps
Leilani Nathan – 23 – NSW Waratahs – uncapped
Bridie O’Gorman – 24 – NSW Waratahs – 15 caps
Emily Robinson – 30 – NSW Waratahs – 20 caps
Adiana Talakai – 24 – NSW Waratahs – 12 caps
Tabua Tuinakauvadra – 20 – ACT Brumbies – 1 cap Backs
Lori Cramer – 30 – Exeter Chiefs – 17 caps
Carys Dallinger – 23 – Queensland Reds – 2 caps
Georgina Friedrichs – 28 – NSW Waratahs – 15 caps
Jasmin Huriwai – 29 – ACT Brumbies – 4 caps
Arabella McKenzie – 24 – Harlequins – 18 caps
Desiree Miller – 21 – NSW Waratahs – uncapped
Faitala Moleka – 18 – ACT Brumbies – 2 caps
Layne Morgan – 24 – NSW Waratahs – 15 caps
Trilleen Pomare – 30 – Western Force – 21 caps
Cecilia Smith – 29 – Queensland Reds – 8 caps
Maya Stewart – 23 – NSW Waratahs – 5 caps
Melanie Wilks - 23 - Queensland Reds - uncapped
Ivania Wong – 25 – Queensland Reds – 11 caps Utility
Siokapesi Palu – 26 – ACT Brumbies – 3 caps
BUILDCORP WALLAROOS 2023 FIXTURES
Wallaroos v Black Ferns, Saturday 30 September, FMG Stadium, Waikato (Second O'Reilly Cup Match)
Wallaroos v England, Friday 20 October, at Sky Stadium, Wellington, 7:00pm NZDT (WXV1)
Wallaroos v France, Saturday 28 October, at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, 7:00pm NZDT (WXV1)
Wallaroos v Wales, Friday 3 November, Go Media Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland, 7:00pm NZDT (WXV1)