Sydney University women’s rugby loose-head prop Brianna Hoy became Wallaroo No.203 when she ran on for Australia against England in the opening match of the WXV competition at Sky Stadium in Auckland last Friday week.

WXV is a new women’s international rugby union competition consisting of three tiers that will be held annually leading up to selection for the 2007 Women’s Rugby World Cup. The competition in New Zealand features England, France and Wales, who qualified by finishing in the top three of the 2023 Women’s Six Nations Championship, and New Zealand, Canada and Australia, who qualified as the top finishers in the 2023 Pacific Four Series.

Hoy, 23, is one of four Sydney University players in the Wallaroos squad in New Zealand, the others being established Australian players in flanker Emily Chancellor, hooker Adiana Talakai and fullback Faitala Moleka.

A member of the Sydney University Sport and Fitness Elite Athlete Program, Hoy took the field with childhood friend and former Coffs Harbour team-mate, number eight Katilan Leaney.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Hoy said. “We were talking the other day and we came across a text message conversation of when we were in high school and we were like, ‘Wouldn’t it be great one day to play for the Wallaroos or even to just play rugby on a regular basis’.

“It’s a pinch-me moment but I’m so thankful and I’m so excited for this opportunity. There were lots of emotions going on – obviously excitement – a few nerves in there but definitely more excitement. I gave mum and dad a call before heading over to the gym after team selection. They were obviously very excited.”

It was a baptism of fire for Hoy, Chancellor and Talakai, who came off the bench, with England running out 42-7 winners after the Australians played the second half with 14 players when second-rower Annabelle Codey was red-carded for high contact.

But they turned that around with a historic 29-20 win over France in their Round 2 clash with France at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Saturday. All four Sydney University players were involved in the match, along with former SU Lions teammate, flanker Sera Naiqama.

Chancellor was one of the stars of the match making a try-saving tackle on French number eight Charlotte Escudero in the first half and pulling off a number of crucial breakdown steals late in the game when the Wallaroos were down to 14 players.

The Wallaroos will meet Wales at Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland, this Friday.