Wallaroos break bread with Wallabies to break down Kiwis

Womens International
by Iain Payten

The Wallabies aren't the obvious choice for advice on beating New Zealand but the Wallaroos say they've taken lessons from the men's team ahead of their own trans-Tasman clash.

The women's match is the first of a double-header at Perth's Optus Stadium with the men's Bledisloe Cup game following.

The Wallaroos have never beaten the world No.1-ranked Black Ferns but have had their best-ever preparation after two solid wins over Japan last month.


The women's and men's Australian teams came together for dinner where the mutual goal of beating their arch rivals was also on the menu.

Wallaroos skipper Grace Hamilton said her team had enjoyed breaking bread with their male counterparts.

"They got around and spoke to all of us and it's something that we should do more often," Hamilton said on Friday.

"A lot of the girls were so excited to get there and have that connection now with one of the world class teams in the men's side.

"It was great to chat to them about our team cohesion and other issues."

With two player-of-the-match performances against Japan, Hamilton led from the front but she will have some help with the grunt work with former captain, prop Liz Patu back in the starting side.

"She's a tough competitor and I love playing alongside her," backrower Hamilton said.

"She's a big ball carrier and a good hitter she provides that platform that we thrive off so to have her back in the starting side is exciting."

In their last meeting, in August last year in Auckland, the Wallaroos went down 45-17 but Hamilton said there had been plenty of improvement in her troops.

The Kiwis showed they were fallible with a shock loss to France last month.

"We've definitely improved technically in last 12 months," Hamilton said.

"I know as a forward in our set piece we've worked a lot on trying to getting our percentages up to improve.

"We want to be world class and we're working toward that."

The Wallabies take on New Zealand at Optus Stadium, Perth, on Saturday August 10, kicking off at 5;45pm local, 7;45pm AEST, with the Wallaroos-Black Ferns kicking off at 3pm local, 5pm AEST. The Wallabies are LIVE on Network Ten, FOX SPORTS, Kayo Sports and RUGBY.com.au RADIO while the Wallaroos will be shown on FOX SPORTS, Kayo Sports and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO.