Four Wallaroos to watch against the Black Ferns

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Now that both squads have been revealed, we look at which Buildcorp Wallaroos you should keep an eye on at Eden Park next weekend.

1. Ariana Kaiwai

The reigning Women’s XVs player of the year, Sydney’s Kaiwai will be tested in New Zealand after an injury-affected season. The flanker, whose day job is in construction, has also been a pioneer of rugby in Western Sydney. Kaiwai was a founding member of the Blacktown Scorpions. One of 13 potential debutants heading across the ditch the 21 year-old will be one to keep a close eye on against the Black Ferns.

2. Louise Burrows

One of the highest-profile players of the squad, Burrows has been a stalwart of the side since debuting in 2001. Her experience will be crucial in a team that includes a huge number of uncapped players, against an intimidating Black Ferns side. Three World Cup appearances has not satiated Burrows’ hunger for another crack at the tournament, with a firm focus on the 2017 tournament. The primary school teacher has been a vocal ambassador for women’s rugby and the hooker will be a vital part of the Wallaroos’ make up in their Tests against New Zealand.

3. Oneata Schwalger

Sister of capped Black John Schwalger, Oneata is one of the veterans of the Wallaroos side. She announced her arrival on to the women’s international stage in the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup, with a breakout performance in that tournament based on her physicality and relentless running. The prop has been playing for the Melbourne Unicorns, flying the flag for the Victorians in the squad.

4. Hanna Sio

An uncompromising centre, not unlike Kiwi legend Ma’a Nonu, Sio is one player who could make a real crack in New Zealand. Sio played two seasons for the Aussie Sevens in 2013 and 2014, before playing in the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup. Sio has worked her way through the ranks at the Parramatta Two Blues to earn an international chance. Her brother, Ken, is currently playing Super League for Hull, having previously played for Parramatta in the NRL. Look out for Sio next week.

Wallaroos New Zealand tour

Saturday, 22 October, 3.05pm AEDT, LIVE on FOXSPORTS - Black Ferns v Buildcorp Wallaroos, Eden Park, Auckland

Wednesday, 26 October, 12.30pm AEDT - Black Ferns v Buildcorp Wallaroos, QBE Stadium, North Shore, Auckland