Wallaroos eye women’s rugby’s top table despite heavy defeat to Canada | Australia women’s rugby union team


The Wallaroos will take their place in the top tier of World Rugby’s new WXV tournament despite losing to Canada in their final match of the Pacific Four Series.

A try from flanker Ash Marsters midway through the first half could not prevent Australia slipping to a 45-7 defeat to the dominant Canadians in Ottawa.

Marsters struck on 21 minutes after a positive start from Jay Tregonning’s side to cancel out an early opener from Canada’s No 8 Sophie de Goede.

“Over the last two years the increased opportunity to play, and play at this standard, has been incredible for the growth of our team,” Wallaroos skipper Michaela Leonard said. “It’s a new team and a new squad and we’re continuing to build.”

Lock Tyson Beukeboom enjoyed a standout match for the hosts in her 60th international appearance, scoring once in the first half and twice in the second to finish with a hat-trick.

The Canadian scrum caused the Wallaroos major headaches throughout, with four of their seven tries initiated off pack dominance.

The Black Ferns’ 39-17 comeback win over the USA meant the Wallaroos finished the tournament third in the table, ensuring their place in the WXV I tournament scheduled to take place in New Zealand from 21 October to 4 November.

The tournament – introduced to raise the profile and competitiveness of women’s 15-a-side rugby – will pit the world’s six best teams together, with New Zealand, Canada and Australia joined by England, France and Wales from Europe’s Six Nations competition.

skip past newsletter promotion

“We have the WXVs at the end of the year and we are raring to get into that,” Leonard said. “We’re really excited to be locked into that for the next two years, particularly leading into the 2025 World Cup.

“It means we’re playing against the best teams in the world and we are doing it multiple times per year. That’s the way you get better.”