Speed Queens set to fire in new look Wallaroos team

Womens International
by Sarah Friend

The Wallaroos will have nine new faces in their team as they look to make a mark against the Black Ferns in Sydney on Saturday.

Uni7s star Emily Chancellor headlines a list of debutants that also includes four other starters in Georgia O’Neill, Crystal Maguire, Atasi Lafai and Mhicca Carter, while Darryl Wickliffe, Melissa Fatu, Alice Tonumaivao and Shanice Parker have been named on the bench.

Maguire will step into the inside centre spot in place of Sarah Riordan, who suffered a heartbreaking ankle injury at training on Wednesday, ruling her out of the Test.

One of the more intriguing picks is Samantha Treherne on the wing, after starring at fullback for the Wallaroos last year and for Queensland in the Super W.

Former Sevens star Mahalia Murphy will take the 15 jersey for the match, with the Laurie O'Reilly Memorial Trophy up for grabs.

The Wallaroos come into the Test with their most finely-tuned preparation yet, after the inaugural Super W competition and months of unprecedented state-based training camps.

Coach Dwayne Nestor said the team was raring to go for the Sydney Test.

"We’ve had a really excellent build up to our first match of 2018 and the team is chomping at the bit to get out there and play some rugby," he said.

“I’ve been really impressed with how this team has taken on the detail of the way we want to play and physically worked hard over the last few months - it’s all come together in camp quite well.

“It was really disappointing to lose Sarah Riordan to injury yesterday, but from injury comes an opportunity for Crystal Maguire to show what she can do in the centres.

“This match is going to be incredibly tough, but it’s a challenge we are really looking forward to.”

Treherne said she was happy shifting spots in the back three to accomodate the attacking spark of Murphy.

“I’m usually at the back but I mean the back three always work together so I know what Mahalia who’s playing 15 wants, then I work well with the other winger as well," Treherne said.

"We’ve come together really well at training, also Shanice Parker coming off the bench as well, so I’m looking forward to being on the wing.”

Murphy said she was looking forward to playing Tests against the Kiwis in consecutive weeks.The Wallaroos and Black Ferns will meet again in Auckland on Saturday week.

“I think having the back to back game is something that we can really learn from, we play one game we learn from that game and we take it into the next.”

The Black Ferns named their team earlier on Thursday, with five debutants in the mix.

The Wallaroos take on the Black Ferns  for the Laurie O'Reilly Cup from 5:15pm AEST at ANZ Stadium on Saturday, 18 August, LIVE on FOX SPORTS. 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.

TEAM

Wallaroos to take on New Zealand 

1. Emily Robinson, NSW, Warringah, 7 caps

2. Liz Patu, Queensland, Wests, 20 caps

3. Evelyn Horomia, NSW, Parramatta, 2 caps

4. Michelle Milward, ACT, Tuggeranong, 6 caps

5. Rebecca Clough, Western Australia, Cottesloe, 20 caps

6. Emily Chancellor*, NSW, Sydney University

7. Georgia O’Neill*, ACT, Uni Norths

8. Grace Hamilton, NSW, Sydney University, 9 caps

9. Cobie-Jane Morgan, NSW, Warringah, 16 caps

10. Trileen Pomare, Western Australia, Kalamunda, 5 caps

11. Samantha Treherne, Queensland, Sunnybank, 7 caps

12. Crystal Maguire*, NSW, Warringah 

13 Atasi Lafai*, NSW, Campbelltown

14 Mhicca Carter*, Western Australia, Cottesloe 

15 Mahalia Murphy, NSW, Campbelltown, 5 caps

Reserves

16. Darryl Wickliffe*, Western Australia, Kalamunda

17. Melissa Fatu*, NSW, Parramatta  

18. Hana Ngaha, Queensland, Sunnybank, 9 caps

19 Alisha Hewett, Queensland, GPS, 20 caps

20. Kiri Lingman, Queensland, Sunnybank, 3 caps 

21. Alice Tonumaivao*, Melbourne Rebels, Western Districts    

22. Fenella Hake, Queensland, Redlands, 8 caps

23. Shanice Parker*, NSW, Warringah