9 Waratahs to feature in Wallaroos team to face Black Fearns

Thu, Sep 28, 2023, 12:14 AM
Waratahs Media
by Waratahs Media

Buildcorp Wallaroos head coach Jay Tregonning has named 9 NSW Waratahs including potential debutant Leilani Nathan. His side will face New Zealand on Saturday in the second and final O'Reilly Cup match for 2023.

The starting XV that will take the field at FMG Stadium Waikato in Hamilton is headlined by four changes from the lineup that featured in Australia’s last-start loss to Canada in July.

An unchanged starting front row features Waratahs Eva Karpani and Adiana Talaki at hooker, with the addition on Sera Naiqama in the second row.

The crafty Layne Morgan will team up with Georgina Friedrichs and Maya Stewart in the backs.

“The team’s last performance against the Black Ferns was a long time ago now but we’ve taken the learnings from that game and want to produce a positive result this Saturday,” Tregonning said. 

“At our camp in Brisbane, the squad has been focused on lifting their intensity and work rate to match the gameplan we want to execute out on the field.”

Ivania Wong and Maya Stewart will offer speed and evasiveness on the wings with Lori Cramer in behind at fullback. 

23-year-old Leilani Nathan has been named among the reserves and if called upon, would earn her first Wallaroos cap. 

The Waratahs backrower has enjoyed a meteoric rise since debuting in the 2023 Super W season, with her breakout season culminating in being named the Waratahs Women’s Rookie of the Year. 

“The team is extremely excited for the potential debut of Leilani Nathan off the bench this weekend," Tregonning said. 

“Since debuting for the Waratahs earlier this year, Nathan has progressed remarkably quickly and has many attributes that will improve our squad on the field.”

Skilled 18-year-old outside back Faitala Moleka and experienced pair Emily Robinson and Cecilia Smith are also among the reserves. 

The match will be shown live, ad-free, and on-demand on Stan Sport.

Wallaroos vs. New Zealand

FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton

4.35pm NZDT (1.35pm AEST) Saturday 30 September 1. Bree-Anna Cheatham

2. Adiana Talakai 

3. Eva Karpani

4. Sera Naiqama

5. Michaela Leonard (c)

6. Kaitlan Leaney

7. Emily Chancellor

8. Ashley Marsters

9. Layne Morgan

10. Carys Dallinger

11. Ivania Wong

12. Trilleen Pomare

13. Georgina Friedrichs

14. Maya Stewart

15. Lori Cramer 


16. Tania Naden

17. Emily Robinson

18. Bridie O’Gorman

19. Leilani Nathan

20. Tabua Tuinakauvadra

21. Jasmin Huriwai

22. Cecilia Smith

23. Faitala Moleka


Wallaroos v Black Ferns, Saturday 30 September, FMG Stadium, Waikato (Second O'Reilly Cup Match)

Wallaroos v England, Friday 20 October, Sky Stadium, Wellington (First World XV Match)

Wallaroos v France, Saturday 28 October, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin (Second World XV Match) 

Wallaroos v Wales, Friday 3 November, Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland (Third World XV Match)


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