Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 may still be a little over four months away but Australia have today unveiled a squad of 26 players – 15 of whom are uncapped – for the tournament in France following an extensive selection process.
This process included the Women’s National Championship, a national selection camp, the National Women’s Sevens Championship and satellite training around the country.
The 26-strong squad will now build towards a Tri-Nations tournament in early June which will see the Wallaroos travel to New Zealand to face Canada and the Black Ferns – who will be bidding for a fifth successive World Cup crown in France.
Australia finished third at Women’s Rugby World Cup 2010 in England and new coach Paul Verrell believes the players selected from across the country have the potential to better that position.
“After a careful and considered process we have chosen this squad to take us not only to the Tri-Nations but bring us success at the Women’s World Cup,” explained Verrell.
“I’m confident they have the potential to go better than their third place in 2010 and we have every intention of doing so.”
The squad does not feature any of the players who have been lighting up the Women’s Sevens World Series with Australia winning two of the three legs to lead the Series with New Zealand, but does include Tui Ormsby for what will be her fourth Women’s Rugby World Cup.
“I’m very excited about getting to represent Australia potentially in a fourth World Cup. My journey in the 2010 World Cup ended prematurely due to injury so I’m really excited to get out there again and make the most of this opportunity.
“We have got a long road ahead of us but the feeling and sense of camaraderie at the national selection camp was fantastic and I’m confident we will make everyone proud of the Wallaroos this year.”
The Wallaroos will have two further training camps at the Sydney Academy of Sport in Narrabeen, one for two days before heading to New Zealand for the Tri-Nations tournament, and then a week in July before heading to France.
Australia will face hosts France, South Africa and Wales in Pool C at WRWC 2014.
*Hayley Barclay (Queensland), Tricia Brown (Queensland), Louise Burrows (ACT), *Chloe Butler (Sydney), Cheyenne Campbell (Queensland), Rebecca Clough (Western Australia), Dalena Dennison (Queensland), *Mollie Gray (Australian Services), *Natasha Haines (Western Australia), *Alisha Hewett (Australian Services), Ashleigh Hewson (Sydney), *Ashley Marsters (Victoria), *Nita Maynard (Sydney), Danielle Meskell (Sydney), *Michelle Milward (ACT), Tui Ormsby (Sydney), *Liz Patu (Queensland), *Emily Robinson (Sydney), *Brooke Saunders (Australian Services), *Oneata Schwalger (Victoria), Rebecca Smyth (NSW), *Alexandra Sulusi (Sydney), *Kenina Terita (Sydney), Caroline Vakalahi (Australian Services), *Madeline Putz (Western Australia), Margaret Watson (NSW).