Wallaroos squad developing, growing: Allen

by Sam Phillips

Drop ball and a malfunctioning set piece proved costly against Canada but the platform for a run at the World Cup has been laid, according to Wallaroos assistant coach Scott Allen.

The Wallaroos were outclassed throughout the International Women's Rugby Series but in facing England, New Zealand and Canada, they have prepared for August's World Cup by taking on the three top ranked teams in Women's rugby.

There is no better preparation than testing the team against the best int he world and Allen is adamant there are signs of improvement within the squad.

"There is development - we've played the top three teams in the world and we wanted to get closer than we did but as a squad we think we've grown," he said.

"There are some positives there but we've now got a really tough job to figure out what our squad is going to be that we take to the World Cup.It's been a trying trio of matches for the Wallaroos. Photo: ARU Media/Brendan Hertel"The ARU, Buildcorp and the other sponsors have helped get us here and it's just so valuable.

"Without this, we would have gone into the first game of the World Cup basically unprepared.

"Now we have exposed a number of young girls who have come through, they're looking really good."

All three matches have uncovered some glaring weaknesses in Australia's game but they have also helped uncover a fresh crop of stars - namely No. 8 Victoria Latu and inside centre Kayla Sauvao.

That pair have impressed with some really strong runs and their defensive positioning has improved as the tournament has progressed.The Wallaroos may have a future star on their hands in Kayla Sauvao. Photo: ARU Media/Brendan Hertel"I got to meet some awesome girls, I learned a few things that I didn't know and I've picked up on some skills which have helped me improve in each game," Sauvao said.

"It's so fast paced, it's intense."

Sauvao said she has drawn on the expertise of Australian Sevens co-captain Sharni Williams and Ashleigh Hewson as she prepares to board the plane to Ireland.

"It's good having Ash because I played with her at nationals and we also played against each other in club footy," Sauvao said.

"Sharni is a big help - she tells me where I need to be - it's kind of hard having to work next to her because she's at that high level and I'm just an amateur.

"I've got a few things that I need to work on fitness wise and my strength.

"If I continue doing that it will help me improve."