Wallaroos hit the ground running in Canberra camp

by Sarah Friend

The Wallaroos have hit the ground running in Canberra after beginning a six-day training camp ahead of the historic Bledisloe Cup double-header on Saturday against the New Zealand Black Ferns.

Wallaroos Coach Dwayne Nestor said was pleasantly surprised how well the squad came together at the Australian Institute of Sport after months of satellite training.

“You know you’re sort waiting for that first stumble but they’ve come together exceptionally well, which is really pleasing because this puts us further ahead than what we thought we would be," Nestor said.

"It will be interesting to see how they progress through the training sessions now.” 

Since the completion of the inaugural Super W competition, Nestor’s 28-woman squad has completed months of state-based training. There are thirteen new faces in the Wallaroos squad this year.

Nestor he hopes to see those months of hard work come to fruition a week out from a clash with the world champion Kiwis.

“It’s about reinforcing those messages that we had in their states and then putting it together in the game plan and making sure all the girls understand their roles. I think that’s essential for them,” Nestor said.

Veteran Wallaroos lock Michelle Milward said there is definitely a determination to leave nothing on the pitch at the end of Saturday's clash at ANZ Stadium.

The squad was even given a performance of the Black Ferns haka on day one in camp by visiting New Zealand students, to acclimatise for the real thing prior to the game.

“It was a bit of perspective into what they’ll be facing on the Saturday night. I expect that the haka that we face on Saturday will have a lot more passion and a lot more drive to it," Milward said.

"They’re going to stare us down but we’re going to stare at them back, so just having that introduction was good, so we know what to expect.” 

Nestor knows it’s not going to be an easy first clash up against the world number ones.

Sticking to the basics and structure will be key to keeping the Black Ferns at bay, he said.

“For us it will be doing the basics and doing the simple things as well as we possibly can and then over time we’ll be able to build on that and build a more established game plan,” Nestor said.

 The Wallaroos take on the Black Ferns from 5:15pm AEST at ANZ Stadium on Saturday, 18 August. The Wallabies also host the All Blacks in the first Bledisoe Cup game, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST. LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO. Buy tickets here.