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Australia name side for final pool game against Wales

By AAP
Grace Hamilton of Australia is tackled during the Pool A Rugby World Cup 2021 match between Scotland and Australia at Northland Events Centre on October 15, 2022, in Whangarei, New Zealand.

Wallaroos head coach Jay Tregonning has named his side for Australia’s final Rugby World Cup pool match against Wales, this Saturday in Whangarei.

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Hooker Tania Naden has been called up to the bench and is in line to make her debut, replacing Ashley Marsters in the squad after World Rugby handed down a three-week suspension following the victory against Scotland.

Tighthead prop Bridie O’Gorman will re-join the starting front row, replacing Eva Karpani, who moves back to the reserves.

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Michaela Leonard also returns to the starting side in the second row, alongside Atasi Lafai.

Wallaroos mainstays Emily Chancellor and captain Shannon Parry remain as the team’s two flankers, while Grace Hamilton maintains her position at number eight.

“We were thrilled to get the win against Scotland over the weekend, but it hasn’t changed our approach to training,” Parry said.

“Our focus has remained on improving our discipline, and we’ve upheld last week’s theme of ‘whatever it takes’.

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“Now we’ve had a taste of victory, the girls are hungry for more, and we’re eager for this weekend’s challenge.”

Scrum-half Iliseva Batibasaga and fly-half Arabella McKenzie have secured their positions in the starting XV for the third week in a row.

Ivania Wong replaces last week’s debutante, Maya Stewart, and joins powerhouse Bienne Terita on the wing.

19-year-old Terita – who has now scored five tries in just three matches for the Wallaroos – is joined by fellow Australian Rugby Sevens injection, Sharni Williams, who again partners Georgina Friedrichs in the centres.

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Fullback Lori Cramer rounds out the starting side for the Wallaroos.

“The coaching staff and I have been impressed by Tania Naden’s determination during our time at the Rugby World Cup,” Tregonning said.

“Every direction, every adjustment we’ve suggested, she’s taken on board and actioned.

“Though we got the win last weekend, we left a lot of opportunities on the field, and that’s something we’re seeking to improve on this Saturday.”

The Wallaroos will sport their First Nations jerseys during their match against Wales.

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