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Australia start World Cup prep

Australia's top players have begun their countdown to the World Cup, with the National Women's Championship being held at the weekend. 

The tournament at St.Ignatius College, Riverview saw Sydney take the title in a hard-fought final v Queensland.

With three games in four days, the tournament also featured sides from Australian Services, NSW Country, Brumbies Rugby, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia.

The tournament also acts as a selection tool for the Wallaroos, who will compete at the Women’s Rugby World Cup in France next year.
 
The tournament featured a number of Wallaroos from the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup side, including Queensland captain Tricia Brown, Danielle Meskell, Ash Hewson and Chris Ross.
 
There were also be a handful of dual internationals on show with Tui Ormsby, Sydney captain Cobie-Jane Morgan and Rugby League World Cup winner Alex Sulusi all competing.

The participants were also trying to impress recently appointed Head Coach of the Wallaroos, Paul Verrell.
 
From the Illawarra, Paul Verrell, has had a long and diverse Rugby coaching career, including overseeing NSW Country representative sides, coaching junior elite programmes and experience in women’s Rugby, both sevens and 15s.
 
Following the National Championships, an Australian squad of 44 will be selected, as part of the Wallaroos’ preparation for the IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 in France.
 
Australia’s road to France will include a training camp in February next year followed by a reduced squad of 26 players who will travel to New Zealand to play the Black Ferns and Canada in June.