Wood & Malcolm Heke set to make Wallaroos debuts against Canada

Wed, May 8, 2024, 10:05 PM
by Ben Somerford

Local Western Force duo Samantha Wood and Hera-Barb Malcolm Heke are set to make their international debuts on Saturday having been named as finishers for the Wallaroos’ clash with Canada.

The Kalamunda duo enjoyed breakout 2024 Super W seasons for the Force, leading to their maiden Wallaroos’ call-ups last month.

The pair have now been rewarded with selection for Saturday’s Pacific Four Series clash with Canada in Sydney from 2:55pm WST, with the game live on 9GEM and Stan Sport.

Force duo Michaela Leonard and Trilleen Pomare will both start at lock and inside-centre respectively. Leonard will captain the side.

Scrum-half and ARKS product Wood, 19, started every game in the 2024 Super W 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.

Hooker Malcolm-Heke, 24, took her game to another level in 2024 having debuted back in 2019. The fearsome front-rower and Kalamunda Kweenz captain scored three tries from six games this season, taking her career Super W tally to four tries in 19 caps.

Wallaroos coach Jo Yapp said: “Hera-Barb, Sam and Sally (Fuesaina) are all deserving of their opportunity to make their debut and I’m looking forward to them making an impact in this team. “The girls are excited to play their first Test match of the year and put in a good performance at Allianz Stadium in front of our home fans.”

The Australia-Canada clash will also see the Force quartet come up against club teammate Sara Cline, who has linked up with the Canucks for the Pacific Four Series.

ACT Brumbies hooker Tania Naden will start ahead of Malcolm-Heke while NSW Waratahs’ half-back Layne Morgan will start at 9 with Wood on the bench.

Game details

Wallaroos v Canada

Saturday 11 May, 2:55pm WST

Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Live on 9GEM and Stan Sport

Wallaroos team list

Starting XV: Brianna Hoy, Tania Naden, Bridie O'Gorman, Kaitlan Leaney, Michaela Leonard, Siokapesi Palu, Ashley Marsters , Piper Duck, Layne Morgan, Arabella McKenzie, Desiree Miller, Trilleen Pomare, Georgina Friedrichs, Maya Stewart, Lori Cramer

Reserves: Hera-Barb Malcolm Heke, Sally Fuesaina, Eva Karpani, Atasi Lafai, Leilani Nathan, Tabua Tuinakauvadra, Samantha Wood, Faitala Moleka