Oilers’ Nurse, Flames’ Backlund, Islanders’ Lee named King Clancy Trophy
Waratahs unleash 16-year-old stars for debuts
The NSW Waratahs will unleash 16-year-old fullback Caitlyn Halse for her Super W debut in the season-opener against the Western Force.
NSW coach Campbell Aitken has named nine potential debutants in his 23 for the clash at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium on Friday, with another 16-year-old, backrower Bronte Wilson, on the bench.
The Waratahs are trying to reclaim their familiar perch on the Super W throne following a historic loss to the Fijiana Drua last year.
Watch the 2023 W season on the home of rugby, Stan Sport. All matches streaming ad free, live and on demand
“They are outstanding players,” new Waratahs captain Piper Duck told Stan Sport’s Rugby Heaven.
“And these young girls coming through, they do not lack talent and they do not lack heart. So we’re very excited to see what they bring…
“There’s so much young talent coming through and why not utilise that and really grow the game?”
READ MORE: Axe falls at McLaren after nightmare F1 start
READ MORE: World Athletics ban on transgender athletes
READ MORE: Icon’s warning to NRL over ‘dangerous’ Suaalii move
While the immediate focus is on the Force, Duck admitted the Drua’s stirring debut season had sharpened her own team in pre-season.
“Yes, it was difficult, but I do think it’s actually made us a better squad because it’s allowed us to take golden points out of what we did both wrong and well, and it’s allowed us to kind of pinpoint those,” she said.
“Like anyone that’s watched Fiji play, they love broken play, offloads and things like that – very fast game. So the biggest thing for us is staying to our structure and staying to what we know we can do and playing at our pace and not trying to, I suppose change for our competition, but rise to our standard, not theirs.”
WARATAHS (15-1): Caitlyn Halse, Maya Stewart, Georgina Friedrichs, Katrina Barker, Margot Vella, Ella Ryan, Layne Morgan, Piper Duck (c), Fi Jones, Grace Hamilton, Rosie Ebbage, Ana-Lise Sio, Bridie O’Gorman, Adiana Talakai, Brianna Hoy
Reserves: Katalina Amosa, Emily Robinson, Georgia Chapple, Bronte Wilson, Leilani Nathan, Iliseva Batibasaga, Jade Sheridan, Desiree Miller
FORCE (15-1): Aiysha Wigley, Rachel Laqertabua, Langley Sesega, Trilleen Pomare, Ariana Ruru-Hinaki, Nicole Ledington, Saelua Leaula, Yuna Sato, Taj Heald, Katie Barnes, Libya Teepa, Michaela Leonard (c), Braxton Walker, Hera-Barb Malcolm Heke, Natsuki Kashiwagi
Reserves: Lynn Koelman, Angel Schwencke, Penina Tuilaepa, Ashlee Knight, Destiny Maui, Kendra Fell, Ariana Hira-Herangi, Paihau Pomare
NEW PODCAST! Sean Maloney, Morgan Turinui and Stephen Hoiles review Kids Round, reflect on Ireland’s grand slam and try to pick the fastest player in Super Rugby Pacific
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here