World Cup for Sydney University duo

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Sydney University Women’s Rugby Union Club members Ashleigh Hewson and Grace Hamilton have been selected in the 28-woman Australian squad to contest the 2017 Rugby World Cup in Ireland in August.

Hewson, who captained the Wallaroos on their recent New Zealand tour, needs just two more points to become the highest pointscorer in Wallaroos history. The five-eighth/fullback is on 64 points, one behind former winger Tricia Brown, who finished her career with 65 points.

Backrower Hamilton, who hails from Panuara in the NSW Central West, started playing rugby while on a university exchange to the US.

She was selected in the Sydney team in 2014 and won Wallaroo selection on the recent tour to New Zealand.

The Wallaroo squad will convene in Sydney at the end of July for a three-day camp, ahead of flying out for Ireland on August 1.
The Wallaroos are in Pool C alongside hosts Ireland, as well as France and Japan.

They’ll play their three pool matches at University College Dublin, meeting Ireland on August 10, France on August 14, and Japan on August 18.

The team will be coached by Paul Verrell, who also named former Sydney University Women’s Rugby Club member Mollie Grey and Rugby Sevens gold medallists Sharni Williams and Shannon Parry in the squad.

“We have had some solid preparation during our Test series in New Zealand earlier this month, and had the opportunity to blood some new talent at Test level,” the coach said.

“That tour in New Zealand really showed us the standard of the best three teams in the world and we know what we need to do to reach that level now, so it’s time for the next generation of Wallaroos to really step up.

“We have a really competitive pool with Ireland, France and Japan and we know that there’s no such thing as an easy game at a World Cup. We’re really looking forward to pulling on that gold jersey and doing it proud.”