Things are pretty exciting for Australian women’s rugby this year. After winning the Sevens World Cup in Dubai last year and taking out the Hong Kong Sevens this year, it seems there’s a lot more confidence for the 15s squad leading up to the Women’s Rugby World Cup to be held in August.
The Wallaroo girls attended a training camp in Sydney from 30 April to 2 May, which by all reports was a positive, intense and competitive affair. The squad for the World Cup will be finalised after the National Women’s Championships, which will be held in Canberra from 4 – 7 June.
The rep season is heating up with trials amongst the teams competing at the Nationals. ACT scored an upset win over Sydney on 16 April in the Brumbies v Hurricanes curtain raiser, and defeated NSW Country last Sunday at Duntroon. This coming Sunday, ACT will play NSW Development and Sydney will take on NSW Country in Blacktown.
I have taken a year off to focus on rugby and am in the ACT squad. We have big ambitions after placing third at Nationals last year, and with some big names joining and rejoining the squad, we intend to make our presence felt at the Championships in our home town. It’s exciting to see the building quality of women’s rugby, and I feel privileged to play with the ACT girls, who are a skilful and competitive bunch combining into a real team.
Above are some highlights of the match played between ACT and Sydney on 16 April. Many of the girls playing here are vying positions in the Wallaroo World Cup squad. Keep your eyes out for the flashy yellow boots of Sharni Williams at 12 and for Alex Hargreaves at 8 for ACT (Brumbies strip). Cheryl Soon, the Wallaroos captain is playing scrummie for Sydney and watch out for the very tall Chris Ross in the their lineout. You can see me at 7 for ACT.
But back to the Wallaroos and the World Cup in August. Australia is in a tough pool with New Zealand (who’ve won the last three Cups…), Wales and South Africa and we’re seeded 7th. A bit of a disadvantage is the fact that our girls have limited internationals under their belt. Since the last World Cup, Australia has played:
– 2 test matches against NZ in NZ (2007)
– 2 test matches against NZ in Australia (2008)
– 1 test match against Samoa (2009)
All other nations have had many more test matches to assist their preparation, although NZ hasn’t had any tests this year. Talking to some of the Wallaroo girls, though, there seems to be a lot of positivity and hunger, as well as growing depth in the ranks. It’s very competitive, even for state team selections. I’m looking forward to a cracking National Championships, which I’ll preview in my next post.