Wood set for Wallaroos debut: 'I’m going to make the most of this'

Fri, May 10, 2024, 6:52 AM
by Ben Somerford

Western Force scrum-half Sammy Wood says making her international debut has been her dream since being a little kid but she only thought it was possible this year.

The 19-year-old ARKS product is in line to make her Wallaroos debut on Saturday when they face Canada in the opening game of the Pacific Four Series from 2:55pm WST in Sydney.

“It’s been a dream of mine ever since I was little,” Wood told reporters on Thursday.

“This year when I started performing well I was hoping it’d happen.

“I’m really thankful of this opportunity and I’m going to make the most of it.”

Wood started every game in the 2024 Buildcorp Super Rugby Women’s season, having debuted in the final round in 2023, pulling the strings as playmaker, assisting several tries and scoring 10 penalties and five conversions with her accurate boot. That form built hype around her maiden Wallaroos call-up, which she recalled.

“I was on the way to uni,” she said. “It was so cool to hear those words. It’s a dream I’ve had ever since I was little.

“Calling my mum and then my dad was really special to tell them the news since they’ve been part of this journey as well.”

The young half-back said she’d developed that belief after a strong season with the Force, who made the Super W semi-finals for the first time.

“The coaches and the players they brought in allowed me to play my game of rugby,” he said.

“I had some incredible forwards and backs running off me. It makes my job easy.

“At this level, it makes my job easy just to play my game.”

Wood will start on the bench on Saturday as the back-up scrum-half to Layne Morgan. The pair are the only two scrum-halves in the wider Wallaroos squad, prompting Wood to suspect she may get a debut this series.

“I was a bit shocked that there was only two scrum-halves,” she said.

“I was trying to talk to myself and not become complacent  and give Layne a bit of competition as well.

“I feel like I’ve been training really well. Hopefully get an opportunity this week.”

Force hooker Hera-Barb Malcolm Heke is also set to make her debut off the bench, while Michaela Leonard and Trilleen Pomare will start.

Leonard, who will captain the side, spoke about the debutants Wood, Malcolm Heke and Brumbies prop Sally Fuesaina.

"Really excited for them," Leonard said. "I hope they get the chance to get out there this weekend, but it's just the beginning for them and we'll see a lot of growth over the next couple of years with those three players."

The game will be broadcast live on 9GEM and streamed on Stan Sport.