Halse to make Australian Rugby history as Yapp names fullback for USA Test

Tue, May 14, 2024, 10:57 PM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Caitlyn Halse will make history after being named for her debut start. Photo: Getty Images
Caitlyn Halse will make history after being named for her debut start. Photo: Getty Images

Wallaroos coach Jo Yapp has named teenage sensation Caitlyn Halse to debut against the USA in Friday’s second Pacific Four Test in Melbourne.

The 17-year-old Halse will line up at fullback against the Americans and break the record for the youngest-ever Australian to play Test internationals, male or female, at 17 years, 242 days when she takes the field on Friday.

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Halse breaks the record set by Sharyn Williams, who debuted at 18 years, 44 days in the debut Test in 1994.

“It’s really exciting to be able to tell Caitlyn Halse she will be making her debut,” Yapp said.

“She has been excellent in the Super W and is a player of the future in this team.”

She will be joined by Waratahs teammates Maya Stewart and Desiree Miller on the wings.

Yapp has made one further change to the backline, with last week's debutant Samantha Wood starting for Layne Morgan.

Wood came off the bench in the defeat to Canada, adding an extra kicking option with Lori Cramer shifted to the reserves.

Wallaroos Player of the Year Eva Karpani also starts, swapping with Bridie O’Gorman in the front row.

The Wallaroos will be looking to secure their place in WXV 1 with a win over the Americans.

The two sides are split in the Pacific Four series, with the Australians producing a 58-17 win after going down 16-14 in 2022

“We’re looking for an improved performance against the USA and have made a few changes that we believe can help us win,” Yapp added.

“The team knows where to improve following the loss to Canada and we’re looking forward to playing at AAMI Park in Melbourne for the first time in our history.”


1. Brianna Hoy (NSW Waratahs) – 4 caps

2. Tania Naden (ACT Brumbies) – 11 caps 

3. Eva Karpani (NSW Waratahs) – 22 caps

4. Kaitlan Leaney (NSW Waratahs) – 16 caps 

5. Michaela Leonard (c) (Western Force) – 23 caps

6. Siokapesi Palu (ACT Brumbies) – 7 caps

7. Ashley Marsters (Melbourne Rebels) – 27 caps

8. Piper Duck (NSW Waratahs) – 11 caps

9. Samantha Wood (Western Force) – 1 cap

10. Arabella McKenzie (NSW Waratahs) – 22 caps

11. Desiree Miller (NSW Waratahs) – 3 caps

12. Trilleen Pomare (Western Force) – 25 caps

13. Georgina Friedrichs (NSW Waratahs) – 20 caps

14. Maya Stewart (NSW Waratahs) – 9 caps

15. Caitlyn Halse* (NSW Waratahs) – debut 


16. Hera-Barb Malcolm Heke (Western Force) – 1 cap

17. Sally Fuesaina (ACT Brumbies) – 1 cap 

18. Bridie O'Gorman (NSW Waratahs) – 18 caps

19. Atasi Lafai (NSW Waratahs) – 10 caps

20. Leilani Nathan (NSW Waratahs) – 3 caps

21. Layne Morgan (NSW Waratahs) – 20 caps

22. Faitala Moleka (ACT Brumbies) – 7 caps

23. Lori Cramer (Queensland Reds) – 20 caps

*Denotes debut

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