Wallaroos on the way up after World Cup

Womens Rugby World Cup
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Watch this space.

That’s the message from retiring Wallaroos coach Paul Verrell after his side’s 45-12 fifth-place loss to Canada overnight.

Discipline cost the Wallaroos against the world no. 3 side, but they showed in the opening 20 minutes that they have the talent to mix.

Fast forward to 2021 and Verrell said there was little this side wouldn’t be able to do, with rookies like Millie Boyle to grow and more established figures to enhance their influence on  the team.

Grace Hamilton is one of the rising stars in women's XVs. Photo: ARU Media“I look back at when we came together for the New Zealand tour and the results weren’t that great but we’ve just grown from there, we build on it," he said.

“I thought we’d had a great tournament and the showed they’re learning, we’re in the game.

“Go back the next four years, I reckon we’re top four chance when we come to the next World Cup.”

It’s not just Australia that showed some positives in the tournament, Verrell pointing to the progress across the board, with women’s XVs beginning to gain some traction after a year dominated by Sevens.

“People watch these games, they can see it’s growing it’s definitely improved again from the WC that I was at in 2014,” he said.

“It’s just on the rise and I think it’ll just keep moving forward.”

The Wallaroos took plenty of positives from Ireland. Phtoo; ARU MediaWilliams paid tribute to the departing Verrell, who has been with the team for four years, in a volunteer-based role.

“It was pretty tough to go out there and not get the win for the girls but also for Paul, leaving the program,” she said.

“He’s left it in a better light, he’s been with us for four years and I think I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for him after playing in those teams he has coached.

“He’s a volunteer, he’s given a lot of time and effort to the program and I think he’s left it in a better light.

“Someone coming in next as a coach has some big shoes to fill.”