Wallaroos relishing brilliant Ballymore base as focus turns to O’Reilly Cup, WXV

Wed, Sep 6, 2023, 7:21 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Wallaroos are settling into their Ballymore base. Photo: Brendan Hertel/RA Media
The Wallaroos are settling into their Ballymore base. Photo: Brendan Hertel/RA Media

Wallaroos fullback Lori Cramer is hoping the state-of-the-art facility at Ballymore can help take the team to another level as they prepare to compete with the best in the world.

The Wallaroos gathered in Brisbane as they ramped up their preparations for a crucial month of Rugby.

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It will start with the second Test of the O'Reilly Cup in Hamilton on September 30 before facing the might of the Northern Hemisphere in the inaugural WXV.

Their tournament starts with a rematch of last year's World Cup quarter-final against England on October 20 before facing France and England.

The completion of the brand new high-performance centre at Ballymore comes at the perfect time, set to be the team's base heading forward.

“It’s been a really great weekend using and christening the new facility when it’s in immaculate condition. It’s exciting for everyone to get together as a big group so it was cool to see all the girls," Cramer said.

“Some of us haven’t played footy since the Canada Test whilst there’s a large chunk who have been playing finals club footy so the standard was pretty good, we were able to pick up from where we left off.

“Sometimes it can be a bit hard having a three-day camp, you don’t have a heap of time to get the clunky stuff out of the way but this weekend we really took off from where we left off last time which is a good sign.”

Cramer understands the challenge facing the side, facing the top three sides in the world in less than a month.

“We want to be in the top four, that’s the goal now so I think we’ve identified a lot of key areas we can improve on but I think overall, our ability to play with intensity over a whole game has been a focus," she believes.

“Our work off the ball, effort areas around the park probably needed a little bit of work to compete with the best in the world so that’s been a real focus of the remote training and it showed this weekend.

“We’ve got WXV coming up where we’re hanging with the best in the world and that’s exactly where we want to be. They’re really professional outfits so it’ll be a good test for us and we’re excited for it.”

“It’s been positive (camp),” coach Jay Tregonning added. “We threw a few different things at the girls this weekend with the extended squad in and it’s the first time we’ve been together not preparing for a Test match since January last year.

“Being able to have that educational focus and then looking into a few different areas has been outstanding.

“The educational aspect was the focus but also effort and communication were massive focus for the weekend. It’s about the learning and making sure players are comfortable asking questions as well and making them feel comfortable in making mistakes.

“The communication is around making them a little clearer and concise in a game setting.”

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