Team News – Aitken shakes up team ahead of the final round of Buildcorp Super W

Wed, Apr 19, 2023, 1:59 AM
Waratahs Media
by Waratahs Media

NSW Waratahs Women announce team to head down to Melbourne for clash with Rebels on Friday night.

Waratahs Women’s Head Coach Campbell Aitken has conjured a new-looking starting XV, featuring a fresh exciting backline, returning players and a debutant.

Brianna Hoy and Katalina Amosa have been named to return to the starting XV alongside Bridie O’Gorman (18 caps) in the front row this week.

Ana-Lise Sio (16 caps) and Sera Naiqama (17 caps) will pair up in the second row for the first time this year. Their experience will be immensely important as Aitken tests new combinations in the run to the finals.

The back row has Loretta Mailangi and Leilani Nathan take charge at blind and open-side and the NSW Waratahs Women's all-time cap leader (27 caps) Grace Hamilton will stay at number 8 and captain.

Tatum Bird and Claudia Meltzer will both make their first starting appearance in the halves.

Ella Ryan will move to inside to cover for the rested Katrina Barker, one of last week's try scorers and wrecking ball Georgina Friedrichs will remain at outside-centre.

Desiree Miller, who scored more than half of the team's points (16) last week will continue on at left wing. Jacinta Windsor will appear on the right wing and will play her second game of the season. Young gun Caitlyn Halse will remain at full-back.

Emily Robinson will look to dominate from the bench with Rosie Ebbage, whilst in the backs Iliseva Batibasaga and Maya Stewart will appear with debutant Brooke McKinnon.

After a close call last week against the Reds, Aitkens Women will look to steady the ship and put on a strong performance this Friday at AAMI Park – kick-off at 5:00 PM live on Stan Sport.


  1. Brianna Hoy – 6 caps
  2. Katalina Amosa – 3 caps
  3. Bridie O’Gorman – 18 caps
  4. Ana-Lise Sio – 16 caps
  5. Sera Naiqama – 17 caps
  6. Loretta Mailangi - 6 caps
  7. Leilani Nathan – 4 caps
  8. Grace Hamilton – 27 caps
  9. Tatum Bird - 7 caps
  10. Claudia Meltzer – 3 caps
  11. Desiree Miller – 5 caps
  12. Ella Ryan – 4 caps
  13. Georgina Friedrichs – 16 caps
  14. Jacinta Windsor – 1 cap
  15. Caitlyn Halse – 4 caps
  16. Brittany Merlo – 2 caps
  17. Emily Robinson – 24 caps
  18. Georgia Chapple – 1 cap
  19. Rossie Ebbage – 4 caps
  20. Bronte Wilson – 3 caps
  21. Iliseva Batibasaga – 25 caps
  22. Brooke McKinnon – Debut
  23. Maya Stewart – 14 caps