Wallaroos ready for World Cup contenders

AAP
by AAP

The Wallaroos will head to the Rugby World Cup with two Olympic rugby champions in their squad but up against it to match the feats of their gold medal-winning sevens team.

Coach Paul Verrell named the squad for the 15-aside tournament on Wednesday, including Rio gold medallists Shannon Parry and Sharni Williams alongside potential debutantes Mahalia Murphy and Trilleen Pomare.

Despite being beaten by England, New Zealand and Canada in the international women's series in Rotorua earlier this month, Parry said the team had learnt valuable lessons and were confident for the Cup.

"At the end of the day we're the underdogs, the pressure is on the host nation. The pressure is on the big powerhouse nation in France," Parry said

With only the top team in each of the three pools guaranteed a spot in the semi-finals (the best placed second team across the pools will claim the fourth position) the Wallaroos will be up against it to progress to the knockout phase.

Ranked sixth, Australia are rated behind France (fourth) and Ireland (fifth) in their group with 14th-ranked Japan likely the easiest game in their four-team pool.

Williams said that while it may be a challenging pool she hoped her experience would lift younger teammates who would be going up against fully professional sides.

"Having Shannon and Mahalia as well ... and show these girls what we do day in day out, they might be able to pick up something that is going to help them out on that field," said Williams who believed a semi-final showing was in reach for the Wallaroos.

The tournament starts on August 9, with England the No.1 ranked side.

Squad

2017 Wallaroos World Cup

Millie Boyle, Chloe Butler, Cheyenne Campbell, Rebecca Clough, Mollie Gray, Grace Hamilton, Alisha Hewett, Evelyn Horomia, Kiri Lingman, Hana Ngaha, Shannon Parry, Liz Patu, Emily Robinson, Hilisha Samoa, Alexandra Sulusi, Violeta Tupuola, Katrina Barker, Fenella Hake, Ashleigh Hewson, Nareta Marsters, Mahalia Murphy, Trilleen Pomare, Sarah Riordan, Kayla Sauvao, Huia Swanell, Ashleigh Timoko, Samantha Treherne, Sharni Williams.

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