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Sevens stars make World Cup switch

Australia's Sevens co-captains Sharni Williams and Shannon Parry will make their returns to XVs rugby next month ahead of the Women's Rugby World Cup later this summer. 

The pair will also be bidding make an appearance in the upcoming test series against Canada, England and New Zealand.

Their switch comes as numerous other crossover players make the move ahead of the World Cup. The Black Ferns squad for the June series includes stars such as Sarah Goss, Portia Woodman and Kelly Brazier while a raft of England's best sevens players are also back in the XV fold. 

The  Australian pair will be joined by 10 debutants in the New Zealand series, with seven of last year's debutants returning to the lineup for the tournament.

Parry said the squad signalled some generational change. 

"We've got a great squad here, we've got some of our next generation coming through, but we've got seven girls returning from last year's tour to New Zealand," she said.

"We've got some older girls, some more experienced girls there, so there's a good mix of youth and that generational change with the experienced heads as well."

Coach Paul Verrell said this squad had been in the making since that challenging trans-Tasman trip in 2016.

“We have been monitoring players in training and in matches since we returned from New Zealand last year, and the players named in this squad is a testament to their hard work and performances over the last twelve months," he said. 

“It has been very encouraging to see the next generation coming through. They have really lifted their work rate both on and off the field, which has led to their selection in this squad.

"Combined with the experience of Shannon Parry, Sharni Williams, Ash Hewson, Cheyenne Campbell and Rebecca Clough, we feel we have a very strong squad for this tour.

“We’ll continue the hard work for our three tough Test matches this June, as we continue to build depth for our Women’s Rugby World Cup campaign.”

Australia's Upcoming Fixtures:

Friday 9 June - Australia v England, Porirua Park, Wellington

Tuesday 13 June – Australia v New Zealand, Rugby Park, Christchurch

Saturday 17 June - Australia v Canada, Smallbone Park, Rotorua

Squad:

Cheyenne Campbell, Queensland, hooker, 9 Tests
Liz Patu, Queensland, hooker/prop, 9 Tests
Violeta Tupuola*, ACT, prop
Evelyn Horomia*, Sydney, prop
Caroline Fairs (nee Vakalahi), ADF, prop, 8 Tests
Hilisha Samoa*, Queensland, prop
Hana Ngaha, Queensland, prop, 2 Tests
Rebecca Clough, Western Australia, lock, 11 Tests
Alisha Hewett, ADF, lock, 9 Tests
Millie Boyle*, ACT, lock
Alexandra Sulusi, Sydney, lock, 2 Tests
Shannon Parry, Australia Sevens, backrow, 10 Tests
Chloe Butler, South Australia Barbarians, backrow, 6 Tests
Grace Hamilton, Sydney, backrow, 2 Tests
Vesinia Schaaf -Taufa, Western Australia, backrow, 2 Tests
Victoria Latu*, Sydney, backrow
Natasha Haines, Western Australia, backrow/centre, 7 Tests
Cobie-Jane Morgan, Sydney, scrumhalf, 13 Tests
Katrina Barker, NSW Country, scrumhalf, 2 Tests
Samantha Treherne*, Queensland, five-eighth/fullback
Fenella Hake*, Queensland, five-eighth/scrumhalf
Sarah Riordan, ADF, five-eighth/centre, 2 Tests
Sharni Williams, Australian Sevens, centre, 13 Tests
Kayla Sauvao*, Sydney, centre/wing
Nareta Marsters, Queensland, centre/wing, 2 Tests
Huia Swanell*, Western Australia, centre/wing
Ashleigh Timoko*, Western Australia, centre/wing
Ashleigh Hewson, Sydney, fullback, 12 Tests
*uncapped