The Wallaroos have named three debutants in their starting XV to face Japan on Saturday in Newcastle, including prodigious 18-year-old Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea.
In the first of two Tests over the next couple of weeks, Australian coach Dwayne Nestor has settled on a reasonably inexperienced side to take on a Japanese team ranked 16th in the world.
No.8 Grace Hamilton will captain a Wallaroos side ranked seventh in the world featuring three debutants in hooker Averyl Mitchell, as well as an untried midfield of Lefau-Fakaosilea and Ariana Hira-Herangi.
Lefau-Fakaosilea, who will wear the No.13 jersey, is one of the most exciting prospects in womens rugby, having starred for Queensland in Super W as well as training with the Australian sevens side in the hope of being selected for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
“Her face has been out and about, so people know a bit about her and what she brings in attack and defence,” said winger Samantha Treherne, who has 10 Test caps to her name. “It is a new team so hopefully we trust our coaches and what theyve given us.
“The young girls are making people work hard for their spot. Theyre showing myself and a few other senior girls a thing or two, which is really helpful. Theyre adding a lot of value to the team.”
Australias pair of Tests will be a nice tune-up before facing New Zealand in August for Tests before two Bledisloe Cup fixtures.
“We know weve got New Zealand coming up but were just focusing on what need to do at the moment against Japan,” Treherne said. “They are a very physical team. They apply a lot of pressure to our attacking line and are also very well trained over the rucks. We have to be careful in our breakdowns and securing ball so we can get clean ball to the backs.”
Treherne, who is fully contracted with the Australian sevens squad, has been working hard on her speed and hopes to use it to full advantage on Saturday.
“Theyve given me the confidence to back myself with ball in hand and ableRead More – Source