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Eleven Debutants named in Buildcorp Wallaroo's opening clash against Fijiana

Thu, 05/05/2022, 3:42 am
Oceania Rugby
by Oceania Rugby

Buildcorp Wallaroos coach Head Coach Jay Tregonning has announced his matchday 23 for his sides first Test of 2022, taking on the Fijiana at Suncorp Stadium on Friday 6 May.

Coffs Harbour local Kaitlan Leaney is one of eleven notable debutants who will run out for the side for the first time after being admitted to the squad last year following a stellar 2021 Buildcorp Super W campaign in her hometown.

After spending more than three years with the Buildcorp Wallaroos program former Australian Sevens star Georgina Friedrichs is also set to wear the Wallaroos jersey for the first time as the side looks to join Australian Rugby’s other programs in wearing the unique 1991 World Cup winning gold as they take to the field.

Friedrichs will be joined by Olympic and Commonwealth Games medallist Shannon Parry, who returns to the captaincy role running out as skipper for the side having last captained the team in the 2017 Rugby World Cup in Ireland.

Queensland Reds bolter Ivania Wong will make her starting debut on the wing after stringing together a number of successful Buildcorp Super W seasons. The squad will also be boosted by Buildcorp Wallaroos stalwarts: Liz Patu, Emily Chancellor, Grace Hamilton, Iliseva Batibasaga, Mahalia Murphy and Lori Cramer who will bring an added layer of experience to the Test-side.

Veteran Ashley Marsters will join Eva Karpani and new Queensland prospect Madison Schuck to make up the reserve front row.

After being denied multiple times of a Buildcorp Super W selection, 30-year-old Schuck has clawed her way into potentially receiving her first cap, after finding her calling in the front row during the 2022 Buildcorp Super W season for Queensland.

Another mainstay in the Buildcorp Wallaroos squad Sera Naiqama also has the potential to find her first cap on Friday. She will be joined by Layne Morgan, Piper Duck and Jemima McCalman who will round out the reserve for the side.

McCalman gets her long-awaited inclusion in the Buildcorp Wallaroos 23 after starring in 2021 for the inaugural President’s XV side before joining the Brumbies in 2022.

Buildcorp Wallaroos head coach Jay Tregonning said “With so many debutants in the side, this is a truly historic moment for the Buildcorp Wallaroos – and signals a clear path forward for our programme.

“The team has waited an extremely long time for this Test and the group we have assembled here on the Gold Coast is a truly special selection of players.

“We’ve spoken a lot surrounding how this team fits together after such a competitive Buildcorp Super W season and I couldn’t be prouder of this group for the work they put in to come together as one cohesive unit.

“This Test against Fiji, as well as our next Test against Japan on the Gold Coast on Tuesday, represent the start of a new era for the Buildcorp Wallaroos as we build up to the Rugby World Cup later this year.”

Buildcorp Wallaroos team to play the Fijiana at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane on Friday 6 May at 5:00pm AEST.

  1. Liz Patu – Queensland Reds (23 caps)
  2. Adiana Talakai – NSW Waratahs*
  3. Bridie O’Gorman – NSW Waratahs*
  4. Michaela Leonard - Brumbies (4 caps)
  5. Kaitlan Leaney – NSW Waratahs*
  6. Emily Chancellor – NSW Waratahs (6 caps)
  7. Shannon Parry (C) - Queensland Reds (12 caps)
  8. Grace Hamilton – NSW Waratahs (15 caps)
  9. Iliseva Batibasaga – NSW Waratahs (15 caps)
  10. Arabella McKenzie – NSW Waratahs (4 caps)
  11. Ivania Wong - Queensland Reds*
  12. Pauline Piliae – NSW Waratahs*
  13. Georgina Friedrichs – NSW Waratahs*
  14. Mahalia Murphy – NSW Waratahs (11 caps)
  15. Lori Cramer - NSW Waratahs (4 caps)

Replacements

  1. Ashley Marsters – Melbourne Rebels (10 caps)
  2. Madison Schuck - Queensland Reds*
  3. Asoiva (Eva) Karpani – NSW Waratahs (2 caps)
  4. Sera Naiqama – NSW Waratahs*
  5. Piper Duck – NSW Waratahs*
  6. Layne Morgan – NSW Waratahs*
  7. Trilleen Pomare – Western Force (11 caps)
  8. Jemima McCalman - Brumbies*

*Denotes uncapped

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