Wallaroos name 11 debutants to face England

by Sam Phillips

Wallaroos coach Paul Verrell believes his debutant laden team has what it takes to knock off the might of England on Friday.

Verrell has named 11 debutants in a team that will immediately face an acid test when it takes on the No. 2 ranked team in women's rugby.

An outside observer would be quick to point out the large class gap between these two team but that doesn't mean anything to Verrell and his side, who are quietly confident they can cause an upset.

"We've looked at giving some of the younger girls that we have identified an opportunity in the first Test match," Verrell said.

"That way we can see how they go and see whether they step up to the level."

England's side is filled with professional players and they also boast one of the biggest forward packs.Ashleigh Hewson will lead the team again in 2017. Photo: Getty ImagesThere is no greater Test to start the series for Australia and that is not lost on the coach, who has picked a forward pack that he hopes will combat the physicality of the English.

"They'll go 80 minutes so we have to try and stay in the game," Verrell said.

"They've got a good set piece, they're a very skilful team and they're a very big team.

"I think Victoria Latu - the No. 8 - will give us some go forward," he said.

"I think we've got a scrum there with Liz Patu in the front row and Cheyenne Campbell now moving into the front row.The Wallaroos will face New Zealand next Tuesday. Photo: Getty Images"Bec Clough and Alisha Hewett are both good size locks - I think we can compete and hopefully put them under the pressure in the scrum."

England are similarly known for their structure and Verrell hopes a form of organised chaos will bring them unstuck.

"We've set them some structure and shape that we want to play, we have changed some lineouts that we also think will put some pressure back on England.

"We want to see how the girls adapt to that at the Test match level and if they can do that, that will will keep us competitive.

"They're a very structured team and we have come up with a few things and a few areas where we think we can dominate and put some pressure on."

The Wallaroos take on England on Friday morning, kicking off at 10:30am AEST, broadcast LIVE on worldrugby.com.


Wallaroos team to take on England

1. Liz Patu, Queensland, hooker/prop, 9 Tests

2. Cheyenne Campbell, Queensland, hooker, 9 Tests

3. Evelyn Horomia*, Sydney, prop

4. Rebecca Clough, Western Australia, lock, 11 Tests

5. Alisha Hewett, ADF, lock, 9 Tests

6. Grace Hamilton, Sydney, backrow, 2 Tests

7. Chloe Butler, South Australia Barbarians, backrow, 6 Tests

8. Victoria Latu*, Sydney, backrow

9. Cobie-Jane Morgan, Sydney, scrumhalf, 13 Tests

10. Fenella Hake*, Queensland, flyhalf/scrumhalf

11. Natasha Haines, Western Australia, backrow/centre, 7 Tests

12. Kayla Sauvao*, Sydney, centre/wing

13. Ashleigh Timoko*, Western Australia, centre/wing

14. Huia Swannell*, Western Australia, centre/wing

15. Ashleigh Hewson, Sydney, fullback, 12 Tests (captain)


16. Caroline Fairs, ADF, prop, 8 Tests

17. Violeta Tupuola*, ACT, prop

18. Hilisha Samoa*, Queensland, prop

19. Millie Boyle*, ACT, lock

20. Kiri Lingman*, Queensland, flanker

21. Vesinia Schaaf-Taufa, Western Australia, backrow, 2 Tests

22. Katrina Barker, NSW Country, scrumhalf, 2 Tests

23.Samantha Treherne*, Queensland, flyhalf/fullback

2017 International Women's Rugby Series Fixtures:

10.30am AEST, Friday June 9 - Australia vs England, Porirua Park, Wellington

12.45pm, Tuesday June 13 – Australia vs New Zealand, Rugby Park, Christchurch

10.30am, Saturday June 17 - Australia vs Canada, Smallbone Park, Rotorua