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Tregonning excited as Australian Barbarians name squad for Friday's Japan clash

Thu, 05/05/2022, 6:57 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Wallaroos Mahalia Murphy and Lori Cramer have spoken after the unveil of the First Nations jersey on the Gold Coast.

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.

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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

Replacements

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

Japan Team

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

Replacements

16. Makoto Laemai

17. Mei Jizodo

18. Mio Nishimura

19. Kie Tamai

20. Yuki Ito

21. Sakurako Hatada

22. Sora Konishi

23. Ayasa Otsuka

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