NSW Waratahs players celebrate.
The NSW Waratahs have been rewarded for their dominance with mass call-ups to the Wallaroos. Image by Darren England/AAP PHOTOS
  • rugby union

Waratahs dominate Wallaroos side for Pacific Four rugby

Melissa Woods May 9, 2024

Coach Jo Yapp has named her first Wallaroos team, including three possible debutantes, to take on Canada in the opening match of the Pacific Four series in Sydney.

The former England Test halfback, who took over as women’s national coach late last year, has included ACT Brumbies prop Sally Fuesaina and Western Force pair Hera-Barb Malcolm Heke and Samantha Wood on the bench for Saturday’s game at Allianz Stadium.

Hooker Malcolm Heke and teenage halfback Wood were standouts for the Force in Super Rugby Women this year, while Fuesaina is set for her first international at the age of 32.

Yapp has named a mostly experienced line-up to take on the world No.4 side.

Jo Yapp.
 Head Coach Jo Yapp has named her first Wallaroos lineup. Image by Bianca De Marchi/AAP PHOTOS 

The Wallaroos will be captained by Western Force lock Michaela Leonard.

The backline is stacked with Waratahs players after their Super Women’s championship win, including halves Layne Morgan and Arabella McKenzie.

Queensland veteran Lori Cramer will start at fullback and the Force’s Trilleen Pomare is at inside centre.

Piper Duck will return to the Test fold at No.8 after missing the entire 2023 season through injury, with Bridie O’Gorman, Kaitlan Leaney and Ashley Marsters are also in the pack.

“We’re really happy with how the squad has connected over the past week and training in Blacktown has been a great environment for the players to prepare in camp,” Yapp said in a statement.

“Hera-Barb, Sam and Sally are all deserving of their opportunity to make their debut and I’m looking forward to them making an impact in this team.

“The girls are excited to play their first Test match of the year and put in a good performance.”

Wallaroos captain Michaela Leonard (centre).
 Michaela Leonard (centre) will captain Australia against Canada. Image by Darren England/AAP PHOTOS 

The Wallaroos haven’t beaten Canada since 2014, with the visitors ranked one place higher in the world standings than Australia.

Following the clash against Canada, the Wallaroos will shift to Melbourne where they will take on the USA at AAMI Park on May 17.

The final match of their series will be played in Auckland against New Zealand on May 25.


Brianna Hoy, Tania Naden, Bridie O’Gorman, Kaitlan Leaney, Michaela Leonard (capt), Siokapesi Palu, Ashley Marsters, Piper Duck, Layne Morgan, Arabella McKenzie, Desiree Miller, Trilleen Pomare, Georgina Friedrichs, Maya Stewart, Lori Cramer. Reserves: Hera-Barb Malcolm Heke, Sally Fuesaina, Eva Karpani, Atasi Lafai, Leilani Nathan, Tabua Tuinakauvadra, Samantha Wood, Faitala Moleka.