Twelve Waratahs name in Wallaroos squad for O'Reilly cup & World XV Tournament

Tue, Sep 19, 2023, 3:59 AM

Buildcorp Wallaroos Head Coach Jay Tregonning has confirmed a 30-player travelling squad for the upcoming Laurie O'Reilly Cup Test against New Zealand, and World Rugby’s season-ending WXV1 tournament.

The Wallaroos are at the halfway point of the season, having played four Test matches – winning two – and with four more to play against powerhouses New Zealand, England, France and Wales to finish the year.

Wallaroos and Waratahs Captain Piper Duck has been omitted from the travelling squad due to recent ankle surgery, with 18-cap Michaela Leonard stepping in as captain – as she has done throughout the year while Duck has been dealing with injury.

There are four uncapped players in a squad that has a healthy dose of youth and experience, including the Next Gen 7s & Queensland Reds player Melanie Wilks, Waratahs loosehead prop Brianna Hoy, as well as previous squad members in Waratahs winger Desiree Miller and Waratahs forward Leilani Nathan.

Also notable is the return of influential lock Atasi Lafai, who suffered a devastating ankle injury at last year’s Rugby World Cup, which she has been rehabbing for almost a full year.

Despite the heavy focus on developing talent, half of the 30 players have ten caps or more in an indication of the experience developing in what is still a young squad.

Head Coach Jay Tregonning says the Wallaroos squad is eager to finish off their season in strong fashion.

“It was great to have the majority of the managed squad in camp during the first week of September at Ballymore, the new home for women’s rugby,” Tregonning said.

“From this camp, the selectors have chosen a squad of 30 leading into the upcoming Laurie O’Reilly Cup and WXV tournament. “We are excited to get back out there and to continue to test ourselves against the best teams in the World.

“The squad remains largely the same from the Pacific Four Series as we look to continue to build combinations and test experience. New Zealand into England, France and Wales is an exciting way to finish up the 2023 season.

“I am particularly happy for Atasi Lafai – she had a tough break with her injury at the World Cup last year. The grit and determination that she has shown during what has been a long rehab journey for her this year has been a testament to her character.”

The team will assemble at the Ballymore National Rugby Training Centre in Brisbane this Friday 22nd September, before travelling to Hamilton in New Zealand on the 27th to face the Black Ferns in the Laurie O’Reilly Cup.

The Wallaroos' WXV1 campaign kicks off against England in Wellington on the 20th October.

The Laurie O’Reilly Cup and all Wallaroos games from WXV1 will be available to view for Australian fans live, on-demand and ad-free on Stan Sport.


Emily Chancellor – 32 – Harlequins – 19 caps

Bree-Anna Cheatham – 26 – Queensland Reds – 5 caps

Annabelle Codey – 26 – Queensland Reds – 4 caps

Brianna Hoy – 23 – NSW Waratahs – uncapped

Eva Karpani – 27 – NSW Waratahs – 17 caps

Atasi Lafai – 29 – NSW Waratahs – 6 caps

Kaitlan Leaney – 22 – Harlequins – 11 caps

Michaela Leonard (c) – 28 – Western Force – 18 caps

Ashley Marsters – 29 – Melbourne Rebels – 23 caps

Tania Naden – 31 – ACT Brumbies – 6 caps

Sera Naiqama – 28 – NSW Waratahs – 10 caps

Leilani Nathan – 23 – NSW Waratahs – uncapped

Bridie O’Gorman – 24 – NSW Waratahs – 15 caps

Emily Robinson – 30 – NSW Waratahs – 20 caps

Adiana Talakai – 24 – NSW Waratahs – 12 caps

Tabua Tuinakauvadra – 20 – ACT Brumbies – 1 cap


Lori Cramer – 30 – Exeter Chiefs – 17 caps

Carys Dallinger – 23 – Queensland Reds – 2 caps

Georgina Friedrichs – 28 – NSW Waratahs – 15 caps

Jasmin Huriwai – 29 – ACT Brumbies – 4 caps

Arabella McKenzie – 24 – Harlequins – 18 caps

Desiree Miller – 21 – NSW Waratahs – uncapped

Faitala Moleka – 18 – ACT Brumbies – 2 caps

Layne Morgan – 24 – NSW Waratahs – 15 caps

Trilleen Pomare – 30 – Western Force – 21 caps

Cecilia Smith – 29 – Queensland Reds – 8 caps

Maya Stewart – 23 – NSW Waratahs – 5 caps

Melanie Wilks - 23 - Queensland Reds - uncapped

Ivania Wong – 25 – Queensland Reds – 11 caps


Siokapesi Palu – 26 – ACT Brumbies – 3 caps

  • Wallaroos 22 defeated Fijiana 5, Saturday 20 May, at Allianz Stadium, Sydney
  • Wallaroos 0 defeated by Black Ferns 50, Thursday 29 June, at Dolphin Stadium, Moreton Bay (First O'Reilly Cup Match, Pacific Four Series)
  • Wallaroos 58 defeated USA 17, Saturday 8 July, at TD Place, Ottawa (Pacific Four Series)
  • Wallaroos 7 defeated by Canada 45, Friday 14 July, at TD Place, Ottawa (Pacific Four Series)
  • Wallaroos v Black Ferns, Saturday 30 September, FMG Stadium, Waikato (Second O'Reilly Cup Match)
  • Wallaroos v England, Friday 20 October, at Sky Stadium, Wellington, 7:00pm NZDT (WXV1)
  • Wallaroos v France, Saturday 28 October, at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, 7:00pm NZDT (WXV1)
  • Wallaroos v Wales, Friday 3 November, Go Media Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland, 7:00pm NZDT (WXV1)