Wallaroos Head Coach Paul Verrell has named his side for their second Test against Ireland at the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast on Tuesday, 22 August.
Wallaroos stalwart Ashleigh Hewson has recovered from a hamstring injury that has kept her out of the squad since Australia’s first clash with Ireland and has been brought into the starting side at flyhalf.
Hewson became the Wallaroos all-time leading point scorer in the side’s first pool game against the host nation, slotting a conversion to edge in-front of Tricia Brown’s previous record of 65 points to notch a new total of 66.
Verrell has made a further three changes to his starting XV for the match. Western Australia’s Rebecca Clough will earn her first start of the World Cup at lock, with Millie Boyle moving to blindside flanker and Mollie Gray to the reserves. Hewson’s return to the side sees’s Sarah Riordan shift to the centers in the 13 jerseys, with Kayla Sauvao named in the reserves.
The match also marks a special milestone for the Wallaroos, with the 23 named being the most experienced match-day squad ever assembled with a total of 196 Test Caps between them.
“As we approach this match against Ireland once again we’ve tried to make minimal changes to create some cohesion amongst the group. The girls played some good Rugby against Japan and we’re hoping they can build upon that,” Verrell said.
“We’ve been able to welcome back Ashleigh Hewson into the squad this week which is a positive, as she brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience.
“Rebecca Clough’s return to the starting side is also rewarded for the effort she has been putting in on and off the field.
“While we’re out of semi-finals contention, the team is focused on finishing the World Cup as highly ranked as we can, and to have a second chance against Ireland after a two-point loss, this match provides us with a chance for some redemption.”
The Wallaroos will face Ireland on Tuesday, August 22, as the fifth-place playoff semi-finals get underway. Kick-off at 2:00pm local time (11:00pm AEST). The match will be broadcast live via FOX SPORTS.
Wallaroos side to face Ireland:
1. Liz Patu – Queensland, Wests – 15 Test Caps
2. Cheyenne Campbell – Queensland, Redlands – 15 Test Caps
3. Hilisha Samoa – Queensland, Brothers – 6 Test Caps
4. Alisha Hewett – Australian Defence Force, Queensland, GPS – 16 Test Caps
5. Rebecca Clough – Western Australia, Cottesloe – 14 Test Caps
6. Millie Boyle – ACT, Canberra Royals – 6 Test Caps
7. Chloe Butler – South Australia, Parramatta – 12 Test Caps
8. Grace Hamilton – Sydney, Sydney University – 7 Test Caps
9. Katrina Barker – NSW Country, Newcastle University – 8 Test Caps
10. Ashleigh Hewson – Sydney, Sydney University – 16 Test Caps
11. Mahalia Murphy – Australian Sevens, NSW, Campbell Town – 3 Test Caps
12. Sharni Williams – Australian Sevens, ACT, Canberra Royals – 17 Test Caps
13. Sarah Riordan – Australian Defence Force, Victoria, Melbourne Unicorns – 7 Test Caps
14. Nareta Marsters – Queensland, Sunnybank – 7 Test Caps
15. Samantha Treherne – Queensland, Sunnybank – 6 Test Caps
16. Emily Robinson – Sydney, Warringah – 4 Test Caps
17. Violeta Tupuola – ACT, Royals – 3 Test Caps
18. Hana Ngaha – Queensland, Sunnybank – 7 Test Caps
19. Mollie Gray – Australian Defence Force, NSW, Maitland – 11 Test Caps
20. Kate Brown – ACT, Tuggeranong Vikings – 1 Test Cap
21. Fenella Hake – Queensland, Redlands – 6 Test Caps
22. Kayla Sauvao – Sydney, Parramatta – 6 Test Caps
23. Trilleen Pomare – Western Australia, Wanneroo – 3 Test Caps