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New skipper Piper Duck returns for Wallaroos

By AAP
(L-R) Madison Schuck, Piper Duck and Jemima McCalman of the Wallaroos stand together during the national anthems prior to the start of the Women's International Test match between the Australia Wallaroos and Fijiana at Suncorp Stadium on May 06, 2022 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

Wallaroos captain Piper Duck is set for her first appearance in the Pacific Four Series after being included on the bench to face Canada in their final match of the tournament.

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The Australians are looking to build on their thumping 58-17 win over the United States when they take on the home team in Ottawa on Saturday (AEST).

Coach Jay Tregonning has made just one change to his starting side, while 22-year-old flanker Duck has overcome a lingering foot injury and is set for her first game since replacing retired skipper Shannon Parry.

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The Canadians, who finished fourth in last year’s World Cup, fell to champions New Zealand last week 52-21

“We saw a much-improved performance against the USA last week,” said Tregonning.

“Canada plays a very different style of game and we’ve taken that into consideration during our preparation this week.

“We saw how physical and fast they were against the Black Ferns, and now the Wallaroos are raring to compete against the fourth-best team in the world.”

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Brumbies Super W captain Siokapesi Palu has replaced Cecilia Smith at inside centre while new faces on the bench include prop Madison Schuck, who has come in for Emily Robinson, and Duck who replaces Tabua Tuinakauvadra.

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The victory over the USA means that unless the winless Americans upset New Zealand, Australia will finish in the top three and qualify for the top tier of the new global women’s 15s competition, called WXV.

Launching in October in New Zealand, the top six teams – three from the Six Nations and three from Pacific Four – will square off over three weekends.

Wallaroos: Bree-Anna Cheatham, Adiana Talakai, Eva Karpani, Michaela Leonard, Kaitlan Leaney, Ashley Marsters, Emily Chancellor, Grace Hamilton, Layne Morgan, Arabella McKenzie, Ivania Wong, Cecilia Smith, Georgina Friedrichs, Maya Stewart, Lori Cramer. Reserves: Tania Naden, Madison Schuck , Bridie O’Gorman, Sera Naiqama, Piper Duck, Jasmin Huriwai, Trilleen Pomare, Alana Elisaia.

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