Jo Yapp announces first Wallaroos squad as nine debutants confirmed for Pacific Four Series

Mon, Apr 29, 2024, 9:57 PM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson

Wallaroos coach Jo Yapp has shaken up the squad ahead of the Pacific Four series, naming nine debutants in the 30-player squad - presented by Cadbury.

16-year-old Shalom Sauaso is the biggest inclusion, continuing a breakout season for the powerhouse centre.

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Sauaso scored on her starting debut for the Queensland Reds in Super Rugby W, coming off an MVP performance in the World School Sevens at the end of 2023.

She is joined by fellow teenagers Allana Sikimeti and Caitlyn Halse, with Halse one of 13 NSW Waratahs players to be selected following Sunday’s grand final victory. 

Sikimeti's Brumbies teammates Sally Fuesaina, Biola Dawa and Lydia Kavoa have also received maiden call-ups alongside Rebels lock Tiarah Minns.

Western Force scrumhalf Samantha Wood and hooker Hera-Barb Malcolm Heke were rewarded for strong Super Rugby W seasons, guiding the club to the semi-finals for the first time in their history.

It reflects a new look to Yapp's squad, who will open their account against Canada on May 11, with regulars such as Ivania Wong, Emily Robinson, Sera Naiqama and Annabelle Codey amongst the high profile omissions.

Western Force lock Michaela Leonard will retain the captaincy, with Waratahs number eight Piper Duck returning to the squad after her season-ending injury in 2023.

Yapp has also confirmed ten players will join the squad as part of a development squad, headlined by 16-year-old Waiaria Ellis.

“The Super Rugby Women's competition has been really competitive and has given us a great opportunity to not only observe our managed group but up-and-coming players too," Yapp said in a statement.

"We feel the squad we have selected for the Pacific Four series gives us a good mix of experience and youth. We are really looking forward to getting into camp and kick starting the competition against Canada.

"We will also bring in 10 development players into the training squad for the first six days. It is important that we start to expose more players to that next level up. We won’t know if they can take that step unless we give them the opportunity to do so." 

The Wallaroos host Canada at Allianz Stadium on May 11 before shifting to Melbourne where they’ll take on the USA at AAMI Park on May 17. Their final match of the series will be played in Auckland against New Zealand on May 25.

Tickets for the Pacific Four series are available for purchase at Wallaroos.Rugby/tickets

2024 WALLAROOS SQUAD  PACIFIC FOUR SERIES  - PRESENTED BY CADBURY

Allana Sikimeti* (ACT Brumbies) – uncapped

Asoiva (Eva) Karpani (NSW Waratahs) – 21 caps

Brianna Hoy (NSW Waratahs) – 3 caps

Bridie O'Gorman (NSW Waratahs) – 17 caps

Sally Fuesaina* (ACT Brumbies) - uncapped

Hera-Barb Malcolm Heke* (Western Force) – uncapped 

Tania Naden (ACT Brumbies) – 10 caps

Kaitlan Leaney (NSW Waratahs) – 15 caps

Michaela Leonard (c) (Western Force) – 22 caps

Tiarah Minns* (Melbourne Rebels) – uncapped 

Ashley Marsters (Melbourne Rebels) – 26 caps

Atasi Lafai (NSW Waratahs) – 9 caps

Leilani Nathan (NSW Waratahs) – 2 caps 

Lydia Kavoa* (ACT Brumbies) – uncapped 

Siokapesi Palu (ACT Brumbies) – 6 caps

Piper Duck (NSW Waratahs) – 10 caps 

Tabua Tuinakauvadra (ACT Brumbies) – 4 caps

Layne Morgan (NSW Waratahs) – 19 caps

Samantha Wood* (Western Force) – uncapped 

Arabella McKenzie (NSW Waratahs) – 21 caps

Faitala Moleka (ACT Brumbies) – 6 caps

Cecilia Smith (Queensland Reds) – 12 caps

Georgina Friedrichs (NSW Waratahs) – 19 caps

Shalom Sauaso* (Queensland Reds) – uncapped 

Trilleen Pomare (Western Force) – 24 caps 

Biola Dawa* (ACT Brumbies) – uncapped 

Desiree Miller (NSW Waratahs) – 2 caps 

Maya Stewart (NSW Waratahs) – 8 caps

Caitlyn Halse* (NSW Waratahs) – uncapped 

Lori Cramer (Queensland Reds) – 19 caps

*denotes potential debutant

Capped players unavailable for selection due to injury

Emily Chancellor 

Bree-Anna Cheatham 

Jasmin Huriwai

Adiana Talakai

WALLAROOS DEVELOPMENT SQUAD

Ashley Fernandez (ACT Brumbies)

Ashlea Bishop (ACT Brumbies

Brittany Merlo (NSW Waratahs)

Janita Kareta (Queensland Reds)

Melanie Wilks (Queensland Reds)

Natalie Wright (Queensland Reds)

Skye Churchill (NSW Waratahs)

Tamika Jones (Western Force)

Tiarna Molloy (Queensland Reds)

Waiaria Ellis (NSW Waratahs)

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