Wallaroos coach Jay Tregonning is thrilled at the prospect of further players getting exposed to International Rugby as the Australian Barbarians play against Japan on Friday at Wests Rugby Club at 12:30 pm (AEST).
The squad is a mix of the wider Wallaroos squad selected for the two-Test series along with several players on the radar of selectors after promising Super W seasons.
With the Wallaroos set to resume International action against Fiji later in the day, Tregonning was excited to be able to see two full squads test themselves against World Cup-calibre opponents.
“We’ve had 32 girls come into the program and this squad and those not picked in the Fiji squad will play Japan as well as some exciting players coming through,” he told rugby.com.au.
“Having 46 players playing at the International level tomorrow is outstanding for women’s Rugby and that’s what we are more excited about it, just giving the girls the experience to play a bit of International footy.
“There’s definitely players within this squad that we’re keen to work with and try and make them better players.
“A lot of the girls are around our Players of National Interest squad as well as it’ll be good to see them playing another high-quality game of Rugby and Japan is going to be a great test for them.”
Rebels prop Janita Kareta will line-up in the front row alongside Tania Nadeen and Faliki Pohiva, with club team-mate Tiarah Minns and Reds second-row Annabelle Codey completing the tight five.
Brumbies number eight Grace Kemp will push for selection from the back of the scrum as Force standout Tamika Jones and Rebels captain Mel Kawa are selected as the two flankers.
After a breakout season for the Waratahs, Tatum Bird earns selection at scrumhalf, joined by Renae Nona.
Siokapesi Palu and Cecilia Smith form an imposing centres partnership, with both selected in the 32-player squad for the two-Test series.
Meanwhile, Brumbies flyer Lilyann Mason-Spice slots in at fullback, with Margot Vella and Melanie Wilks rounding out the starting side.
Wallaroos veteran Emily Robinson and Reds young gun Sarah Lewis are amongst the replacements eager to upset Japan after they held on for victory over FIjiana last Sunday.
The game will be shown live on Stan Sport, with kick off set for 12:30 pm (AEST)
Australian Barbarians v Japan at Wests Rugby Club, Brisbane on Friday 6 May at 12:30pm AEST.
Australian Barbarians team
1. Janita Kareta - Melbourne Rebels
2. Tania Nadeen - Brumbies
3. Faliki Pohiva - NSW Waratahs
4. Annabelle Codey - Queensland Reds
5. Tiarah Minns - Melbourne Rebels
6. Tamika Jones - Western Force
7. Mel Kawa - Melbourne Rebels
8. Grace Kemp - Brumbies
9. Tatum Bird - NSW Waratahs
10. Renae Nona - Queensland Reds
11. Melanie Wilks - Queensland Reds
12. Siokapesi Palu – Brumbies
13. Cecilia Smith - Queensland Reds
14. Margot Vella – NSW Waratahs
15. Lilyann Mason-Spice - Brumbies
16. Tasmin Sheppard - Queensland Reds
17. Emily Robinson - NSW Waratahs
18. Theresa Soloai - Queensland Reds
19. Ash Fernandez - Brumbies
20. Tangata Tupou – Melbourne Rebels
21. Sarah Lewis - Queensland Reds
22. Teliya Hetaraka – Brumbies
23. Ellie Draper - Queensland Reds
1. Hinata Komaki
2. Asuka Kuge
3. Yuka Sadaka
4. Maki Takano
5. Otoka Yoshimura
6. Misaki Suzuki
7. Kyoko Hosokawa
8. Ayano Nagai
9. Moe Tsukui
10. Kotono Yasuo
11. Komachi Imakugi
12. Riho Kurogi
13. Sora Nishimura
14. Mikasa Isogai
15. Ai Hirayama
16. Makoto Laemai
17. Mei Jizodo
18. Mio Nishimura
19. Kie Tamai
20. Yuki Ito
21. Sakurako Hatada
22. Sora Konishi
23. Ayasa Otsuka