'Like a Test match': Wallaroos primed for Fiji after internal trial

Mon, Jul 1, 2024, 6:30 AM
LW
by Lachlan Grey and Nathan Williamson
Tabua Tuinakauvadra in action during last week's internal Wallaroos trial match in Canberra.
Tabua Tuinakauvadra in action during last week's internal Wallaroos trial match in Canberra.

Last week's internal trial match might just be the catalyst for a breakthrough Wallaroos win in 2024.

That's the view of coach Jo Yapp, who believes her squad has come along in leaps and bounds following an intensive training camp that culminated in Saturday's Possibles v Probables hit-out.

Tickets to the Wallaroos 2024 Home Tests are available to purchase here.

Wallaroos teammates went hammer and tongs at the Australian Institute of Sport in their bid to earn selection in the July Test series against Fiji and New Zealand.

Yapp says it's just the preparation needed ahead of a physical battle with Fijiana this weekend.

"We looked at the GPS numbers and it was like a Test match hit-out for the players," Yapp told reporters at the Wallabies x Wallaroos Fan Day in Sydney.

"Obviously having not played for a few weeks and Fiji coming in off the back of a couple of games, it was important we had that hit-out.

"It's a credit to the girls and it was such a good week. The girls really stepped up, there was massive competition for places and it shows that, as a group, we're moving forward in creating more depth."

Another 2024 debut looms in Saturday's double-header with uncapped Queenslander Nat Wright included as one of just two halfbacks in Yapp's revised 30-woman squad.

A former Australian Sevens squad member, Wright impressed with a try during the internal trial and is short odds to don the 21 jersey as Layne Morgan's replacement this weekend.

Force duo Tamika Jones and Alapeta Ngauamo have also been called into the national set-up and could earn their first cap this month while star utility Ash Marsters is a wildcard to return from an ankle injury sustained during the Pacific Four Series.

"(Ash) is doing really well. She's worked exceptionally hard with that injury and that rehab and she's in a good place as the moment," Yapp said.

"(Saturday's double header) is a great opportunity, isn't it, to get people along to the game and maybe a few who haven't watched the Wallaroos before … to come down early and get behind the girls as well."

Yapp is expected to name her Wallaroos matchday squad on Thursday July 4.

WALLAROOS SQUAD FOR JULY SERIES

Allana Sikimeti (ACT Brumbies)

Alapeta Ngauamo (Western Force)

Arabella McKenzie (NSW Waratahs)

Ashley Marsters (Melbourne Rebels)

Atasi Lafai (NSW Waratahs)

Biola Dawa (ACT Brumbies)

Brianna Hoy (NSW Waratahs)

Bridie O'Gorman (NSW Waratahs)

Caitlyn Halse (NSW Waratahs)

Cecilia Smith (Queensland Reds)

Desiree Miller (NSW Waratahs)

Eva Karpani (NSW Waratahs)

Faitala Moleka (ACT Brumbies)

Georgina Friedrichs (NSW Waratahs)

Kaitlan Leaney (NSW Waratahs)

Layne Morgan (NSW Waratahs)

Leilani Nathan (NSW Waratahs)

Lori Cramer (Queensland Reds)

Lydia Kavoa (ACT Brumbies)

Madison Schuck (Queensland Reds)

Maya Stewart (NSW Waratahs)

Michaela Leonard (Western Force)

Natalie Wright (Queensland Reds)

Piper Duck (NSW Waratahs)

Siokapesi Palu (ACT Brumbies)

Tabua Tuinakauvadra (ACT Brumbies)

Tamika Jones (Western Force)

Tania Naden (ACT Brumbies)

Tiarna Molloy (Queensland Reds)

Trilleen Pomare (Western Force)

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