Skipper Duck to miss Wallaroos' four-Test NZ rugby tour

John Davidson/AAP PHOTOS

Michaela Leonard will lead the Wallaroos on a four-Test tour of New Zealand while regular captain Piper Duck recovers from ankle surgery.

Coach Jay Tregonning named a 30-player squad on Tuesday with 18-cap Western Force forward Leonard at the helm and four players eyeing debuts.

Melanie Wilks, Brianna Hoy, Desiree Miller and Leilani Nathan could all win their first caps in the Laurie O'Reilly Cup return leg against New Zealand on September 30.

The side will then complete their season with Tests against England, France and Wales in the WXV1 tournament across New Zealand from October 20.

Lock Atasi Lafai will also return from a serious ankle injury suffered at last year's World Cup.

"We are excited to get back out there and to continue to test ourselves against the best teams in the world," Tregonning said.

"The squad remains largely the same from the Pacific Four Series as we look to continue to build combinations and Test experience.

"I am particularly happy for Atasi Lafai; she had a tough break with her injury at the World Cup last year.

"The grit and determination that she has shown during what has been a long rehab journey for her this year has been a testament to her character."

Australia's women have beaten Fiji and USA but suffered heavy losses to Canada and New Zealand in four Tests played this year.

The Wallaroos will train at the new Ballymore National Rugby Training Centre from Friday before departing on September 27.


v Black Ferns, Saturday September 30, FMG Stadium, Waikato

v England, Friday October 20, at Sky Stadium, Wellington

v France, Saturday October 28, at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

v Wales, Friday November 3, Go Media Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland


Emily Chancellor, Bree-Anna Cheatham, Annabelle Codey, Brianna Hoy, Eva Karpani, Atasi Lafai, Kaitlan Leaney, Michaela Leonard (c), Ashley Marsters, Tania Naden, Sera Naiqama, Leilani Nathan, Bridie O'Gorman, Emily Robinson, Adiana Talakai, Tabua Tuinakauvadra, Lori Cramer, Carys Dallinger, Georgina Friedrichs, Jasmin Huriwai, Arabella McKenzie, Desiree Miller, Faitala Moleka, Layne Morgan, Trilleen Pomare, Cecilia Smith, Maya Stewart, Melanie Wilks, Ivania Wong, Siokapesi Palu.