Wallaroos team to face World Cup host named

by RUGBY.com.au staff

Wallaroos Head Coach Paul Verrell has made two changes to his starting XV that will play host nation France in Sunday’s do-or-die clash at the 2014 IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup.

Backrower Mollie Gray and prop Dan Meskell return to the run-on side in place of Dalena Dennison and Caroline Vakalahi.

Gray has been mostly used as an impact player throughout the tournament and will bolster the Wallaroos ability to contest for the ball at the breakdown.

The Wallaroos are yet to concede a try in the tournament to date having seen off the challenge of South Africa (26-3) and Wales (25-3) in their first two Pool C matches.

The Wallaroos have to beat France in order to make the semi-finals of the 2014 edition of the IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup. The French, meanwhile, will be cheered on by a vocal local support in Marcoussis as well as an expected television audience in excess of 1.5 million in France.

Wallaroos Head Coach Paul Verrell is confident that his charges have what it takes to overcome the much-fancied Six Nations champions.

“We’re under no illusions. The match against France will be our biggest challenge in the tournament to date. We have had a great build up to this game with two solid matches and an excellent week of recovery and training.

“We have players in our ranks that have played across the world and the hostile environment won’t phase us. This is one of the youngest Wallaroos sides Australian Rugby has ever produced and with that youth brings a great sense of confidence.

“This side is very much looking forward to taking on France and does not want to shy away from the challenge, it will be a good contest.”

The Wallaroos play France at 4.45am Sunday 10 August with the match to be broadcast live on FOX SPORTS 1.


1. Oneata Schwalger

2. Louise Burrows

3. Dan Meskell

4. Rebecca Clough

5. Alisha Hewett

6. Shannon Parry (c)

7. Rebecca Smyth

8. Mollie Gray

9. Nita Maynard

10. Tui Ormsby

11. Natasha Haines

12. Cobie-Jane Morgan

13. Sharni Williams

14. Tricia Brown

15. Ashleigh Hewson

16. Margaret Watson

17. Liz Patu

18. Caroline Vakalahi

19. Michelle Milward

20. Dalena Dennison

21. Ashley Masters

22. Hanna Sio