Super W: Waratahs begin title defence with a new-look team

Super W
by RUGBY.com.au staff

The defending champion NSW Waratahs have revitalised their squad in pursuit of a third consecutive Super W title, naming ten debutants for the opening game.

The Waratahs will take on the Rebels in their opening encounter at AAMI Park on Friday afternoon, and new head coach Campbell Aitken is one of a number of new faces for the Tahs.

The 23-woman squad contains 10 players winning their first NSW cap - five in the starting side alone.

Grace Hamilton will lead a side from a back row that also contains rookie Piper Duck, who has been emerging through Australia’s junior sevens pathways in recent years and played for the Wallaroos A side in 2019 too.

Up front the Waratahs have called up Sydney Uni’s Bridie O’Gorman to start in her first game at loosehead prop, with Emily Robinson out for the season. Her front row teammate at the Students, Adiana Talakai, will also start at hooker on debut.

The Waratahs have named new recruit Pauline Piliae in the hot seat at no.10 for her first cap, alongside veteran Iliseva Batibasaga.

Speedy winger Courtney Frankl, who played for the Rebels and the Wallaroos A last year, will start on the wing for the Waratahs.

On the bench, Oneata Schawalger, Mikaela Trbojevich, Lilyann Mason-Spice, Georgie Friedrichs and Layne Morgan are all in line to make their Waratahs debuts as well.

Arabella McKenzie and Tamsin Sheppard were both not considered due to ankle injuries and Shanice Parker is due back in round two after the NRL Nines.

NSW Waratahs vs Rebels, AAMI Park, 4.35pm (AEDT)

Watch the live stream on RUGBY.com.au or on Kayo Sports.

1 BRIDIE O'GORMAN*

2 ADIANA TALAKAI*

3 EVELYN HOROMIA

4 NOELLA GREEN

5 SERA NAIQAMA

6 PIPER DUCK*

7 EMILY CHANCELLOR

8 GRACE HAMILTON (c)

9 ILISEVA BATIBASAGA

10 PAULINE PILIAE*

11 COURTNEY FRANKL*

12 KATRINA BARKER

13 KENNEDY CHERRINGTON

14 MAYA STEWART

15 CHLOE LEAUPEPE

Replacements:

16. EVA KARPANI

17. ONEATA SCHWALGER*

18. MIKAELA TRBOJEVICH*

19. JEMIMA HENRY

20. FI JONES

21. LILYANN MASON-SPICE*

22. GEORGINA FRIEDRICHS*

23. LAYNE MORGAN*

*Denotes NSW Waratahs Women debut