Wallaroos head coach Paul Verrell has made four changes to his starting XV ahead of his side’s final pool match of the 2017 Rugby World Cup against Japan this Thursday, 17 August (2:00am AEST Friday 18 August).
Captain and openside flanker Shannon Parry has been ruled out of the match through injury, in her place lock Alisha Hewett will earn her first start of the tournament, with Chloe Butler moving to the flank. Fellow Olympic Gold Medalist Sharni Williams will take over the captaincy duties.
In the backline, after earning her first World Cup start in the centres against France, Australian Defence Force playmaker Sarah Riordan will earn her first opportunity at flyhalf, with Sydney centre Kayla Sauavo returning to the starting side at inside centre.
In the reserves, Violeta Tupuola returns as prop cover, while 27-year old Jindabyne mechanic Kate Brown is in line for her Wallaroos debut.
Experienced fullback/flyhalf Ashleigh Hewson also remains unavailable for selection through injury.
Head coach Paul Verrell said: “Last Sunday’s loss to France was a tough one for our team, but the group still have a lot to play for and we’ve named a side that we believe can get the job done against Japan.
“Japan were impressive against the Irish in their last match and we must be mentally and physically ready for them as we head into our final pool game.
“We’ve unfortunately had to make a number of changes to the squad through injury and it’s disappointing to lose some of our more experienced players.
“Shannon has led this side admirably on-and-off the field and it’s a shame to have such an influential member of our squad unavailable.
“After being ruled out between the Irish and French matches, Ashleigh Hewson is also yet to fully recover from injury, but our strength and conditioning and medical staff are continuing to work closely with her with the hope she’ll be available for our matches in Belfast.”
The Wallaroos will face Japan on Thursday 17 August, kick-off at 5:00pm local time (2:00am AEST on Friday 18 August). The match will be broadcast live via FOX SPORTS.
Wallaroos side to face Japan:
1. Liz Patu – Queensland, Wests
2. Cheyenne Campbell – Queensland, Redlands
3. Hilisha Samoa – Queensland, Brothers
4. Alisha Hewett – Australian Defence Force (ADRFU), Queensland, GPS
5. Millie Boyle – ACT, Canberra Royals
6. Mollie Gray – Australian Defence Force (ADRFU), NSW, Maitland
7. Chloe Butler – South Australia, Parramatta
8. Grace Hamilton – Sydney, Sydney University
9. Katrina Barker – NSW Country, Newcastle University
10. Sarah Riordan – Australian Defence Force (ADRFU), Victoria, Melbourne
11. Mahalia Murphy – Australian Sevens, NSW, Campbell Town
12. Kayla Sauvao – Sydney, Parramatta
13. Sharni Williams – Australian Sevens, ACT, Canberra Royals
14. Nareta Marsters – Queensland, Sunnybank
15. Samantha Treherne – Queensland, Sunnybank
16. Emily Robinson – Sydney, Warringah
17. Violeta Tupuola – ACT, Royals
18. Hana Ngaha – Queensland, Sunnybank
19. Rebecca Clough – Western Australia, Cottesloe
20. Kate Brown* – ACT, Tuggeranong Vikings
21. Fenella Hake – Queensland, Redlands
22. Ashleigh Timoko – Western Australia, Wanneroo
23. Trilleen Pomare – Western Australia, Wanneroo