4 May 2017


Sydney has named a squad of 24 players, including 11 Wallaroos in their quest to win a record 5th consecutive national title at the 2017 Buildcorp National Women's XV Championships, to be held in QLD from Friday 12th May to Sunday 14th May.

Amongst the players, six will make their National Championship debuts while 17 of the girls were part of the 2016 Championship winning team. Captaining the side once again will be veteran flyhallf Ashleigh Hewson, who brings to the role both strong leadership and experience. 

Last Sunday, Sydney faced arch rivals ACT in a replay of the 2016 Nationals finals clash, played as the curtain raiser to the super rugby Brumbies v Blues match at Bruce Stadium Canberra.  The match was also the last chance for members of the Sydney squad of 27 to make their case for selection for Nationals, with three players facing omission. Hampering the decision-making process for head coach Rob Baumann and backs coach Peter Hammond were a number of injuries to key players.

Speaking after Sydney's 13-3 victory over ACT, Baumann praised his players for their tenacity against an ACT side full of quality players who were equally determined to impress in front of a home crowd, yet he noted there was still much work to be done over the next two weeks.

"ACT proved to be a solid hit out and it was a tight affair - just what we needed in our final trial before selecting the squad to travel to Nationals," said Baumann.

"It wasn't pretty in parts, but we got the job done. The most pleasing aspect was our defensive effort which I felt was first class. The girls had limited ball during the last 15 minutes of the game and held out multiple phases of attack from a determined ACT side."

"We were good in patches, bad in patches, ugly in patches and outstanding in some aspects of the game. We missed numerous chances in attack through bad handling, pushing passes and bad decision making, however the physical aspect of our game was solid and at the end of the day we got the result." he said.

"Grace Hamilton, Fi Jones, Shontelle Stowers all impressed with a solid effort from the tight five in the middle of the park.  Sarah Laman also played some good rugby, doing some tough work at the breakdown which often goes unnoticed."

Sydney have traditionally dominated Nationals, winning the title a record 10 times since 2003.  Victory in 2017 will be the 5th consecutive win for Sydney, with QLD the only other state to hold the National title.

While Baumann has been happy with the progress of his squad, he said the other teams cannot be under-estimated, particularly as Sydney has been impacted by injuries and the retirement of key players, including Wallaroos Michelle Bailey, Chloe Butler and Danielle Meskell who will not be competing this year.

"Most certainly it will be tougher this year, in my opinion. We are the current champions and teams will want to challenge us. The biggest threats this year will be ACT, WA and the home team QLD, however we won't be taking anyone lightly and we will treat each team with respect."

"We are in a transition at the moment, with new players coming into the side, along with experienced players retiring from the game. However I have full confidence in the team and we have some outstanding players." 

"We certainly have plenty to do before Nationals in two weeks. We have different, younger faces in the squad this year, potential Sydney players for years to come and I am pleased with the way we are progressing," said Baumann.

Defending champions Sydney have drawn Pool A, which will include Western Australia, South Australia and the Australian Defence Force Rugby Union.  Last year's other finalist, ACT have drawn Pool B and will face off against NSW Country, QLD and Victoria for their tilt at the Championship title.

The 2017 Buildcorp National Women’s XV Championship will be one of the last chances players from all states will be able to impress national selectors to be named in the Wallaroos squad ahead of the 2017 Womens Rugby World Cup, which will be held in Ireland later this year from Wednesday 9th August - Saturday 26th August 2017.

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2017 Buildcorp National Women's XV Championships
Date: Friday 12th May to Sunday 14th May
Venue: Sports Super Centre, Runaway Bay, Gold Coast QLD

BACKS (10):
Illiseva Batibasaga (Syd Uni) ^#
Kim Davey (Syd Uni) #
Ashleigh Hewson (Syd Uni) Captain ^#
Kirrily Laws (Syd Uni) *
Chloe Leaupepe (Warringah) ^#
Crystal Maguire (Warringah) *
Cobie Jane Morgan (Warringah) ^#
Shanice Parker (Warringah) *
Kayla Sauvao (Parramatta) *
Shontelle Stowers (Warringah) ^#
Emily Chancellor (Syd Uni) #
Gabby Hall (Waverley) *
Grace Hamilton (Syd Uni) ^#
Evelyn Horomia (Warringah) #
Fiona Jones (Syd Uni) #
Ariana Kaiwai (Blacktown) ^#
Sarah Laman (Warringah) ^#
Victoria Latu (Parramatta) #
Penelope Leiataua (Syd Uni) #
Natalie MacLarn (Warringah)
Sara Naiqama (Syd Uni) #
Emily Robinson (Warringah) ^#
Tas Sheppard (Syd Uni) *
Alexandra Sulusi (Parramatta) #

Head Coach: Rob Baumann
Backs Coach: Peter Hammond
Team Operations Manager: Erin Morton

Note: Team listed in alphabetical order
* = National Championship Debut in 2017
^ = Capped Buildcorp Wallaroo
# = Represented Sydney in 2016



Pool A

Pool B

Australian Defence Force


South Australia

NSW Country



Western Australia


8.30am     Sydney v SA
9.30am     WA v ADFRU
10.30am   QLD v NSW Country
11.30am   ACT v Victoria
1.00pm     Sydney v ADFRU
2.00pm     WA v SA
3.00pm     ACT v NSW Country
4.00pm     QLD v Victoria

9.30am     ADFRU v SA
11.00am   NSW Country v Victoria
12.30pm   Sydney v WA
2.00pm     ACT v QLD

8.30am     4th  Pool A v 4th Pool B
9.45am     3rd  Pool A v 3rd Pool B
11.00am   2nd Pool A v 2nd Pool B
12.30pm   1st  Pool A v 1st  Pool B


National Championship Winners (since 2003):
2003    Sydney Gold
2004    Sydney White
2005    Sydney Gold
2006    QLD
2007    Sydney
2008    Sydney
2009    QLD
2010    Sydney
2011    QLD
2012    Sydney
2013    Sydney
2014    Not held
2015    Sydney
2016    Sydney


Sydney's Final Results in 2016 Buildcorp National Women's XV Championship:
Final, held at Riverview College NSW 26 June 2016:
Sydney 35 def ACT 3

Sydney 35 (Tries 5: Kim Davey, Ashleigh Hewson, Evelyn Horomia, Hanna Sio, Alexandra Sulusi;  Cons 2:  Ashleigh Hewson 2;  Pens 2: Ashleigh Hewson 2)
ACT 3: (Pens 1: Tayla Stanford)


Additional Notes:
2017 Women's Rugby World Cup
Date: Wednesday 9th August - Saturday 26th August 2017
Venue: Ireland (matches to be played in Belfast and Dublin)
Reigning Champions: England
Last WRWC held in 2014 (note: after 2017 the WRWC will go back to being hosted every 4 years)

About Sydney Women's Rugby Union:
Sydney Women's Rugby Union (SWRU) is the governing body that administers the participation pathways for female players in metropolitan NSW. The Union also manages the Sydney Women's premiership competition (The Jack Scott Cup) that is held annually around club venues in Sydney and currently comprises seven teams.

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