The following article is republished with permission from ACT Rugby.
The Safeguard ACT Brumbies Super Rugby Pacific and Super Rugby Women sides return to the field in 2024 to host the Fijian Drua and Hong Kong China Rugby teams respectively at Vikings Park, Wanniassa on Saturday 3rd February, kicking off at 4:00PM AEDT for the women’s match and 6:00PM AEDT for the men’s.
After a strong pre-season, Head Coach Stephen Larkham has named a 33-player squad that is comprised of a strong mixture of youth and experience to face their Fiji-based counterparts.
The team will be guided around Viking Park by the 2023 McDougall Medallist and flyhalf, Declan Meredith and new recruit and scrumhalf Harrison Goddard.
Meredith and Goddard formed a strong combination on the Brumbies two-game tour of Japan in late 2023. Marist and St. Edmunds College products, Matias Jensen and Shane Wilcox have been named on the wing and at fullback respectively for their first starts with the Brumbies senior team.
Other 2023 Brumbies Academy graduates in the starting XV include lock, Lachie Shaw, and inside centre Austin Anderson, who both made the move to Canberra last season and are thriving in the Brumbies environment.
The match-day squad consists of 7-players from the 2023 Super Rugby U19’s Championship winning team, which includes the team’s captain and 2023 Junior Wallabies star, Lachlan Hooper. Hooper will play his first Brumbies game alongside his brother and Wallaby, Tom, who returns to the Brumbies environment after his first exposure to test rugby in 2023. Both players are products of John I Dent Club team, Tuggeranong Vikings.
Brumbies fans will see Harry Vella for the first time when he enters the field. Vella returns from a long-term knee injury that was suffered in September 2022. First time Brumbies Captain, Cadeyrn Neville is one of several Wallabies and Australia A players within the squad to take on the Drua. The second half crowd will see the return of Blake Schoupp, Lachlan Lonergan, Tom Hooper, Len Ikitau and Ollie Sapsford in Brumbies colours. Andy Muirhead will captain the Brumbies team throughout the second half.
Brumbies Head Coach Stephen Larkham said “We are thrilled to be commencing our pre-season trials this weekend after a long pre-season of preparation for the squad. It is a great opportunity for our players to get some solid match time under their belts in front of our loyal members and fans at Viking Park on Saturday against what will no doubt be a strong Drua team and we are looking forward to the challenge”.
Super Rugby Women’s Head Coach Scott Fava’s side will kick off the day when the squad face Hong Kong China Rugby at 4:00PM AEDT.
Tania Naden, who enters her 7th season of the Super Rugby Women’s competition will lead the team out onto the paddock. Naden is one of four Wallaroos, including Jay Huriwai, Faitala Moleka and Tabua Tuinakauvadra from last year’s Laurie O’Reilly Cup campaign who will feature at Viking Park.
The next generation of Brumbies talent will be on display with Lily Bone, Anastasia Martin, Becka Marsters, Erika Maslen, Chioma Enyi and Martha Fua getting an opportunity to play at a higher level.
Brumbies Women’s Head Coach Scott Fava said, “It is an exciting period for our Women’s program at the Brumbies. It has been exciting to see growth amongst our academy players who have spent of lot of time with our senior player group throughout the preseason. Hong Kong China Rugby will be a great test for our squad as we prepare for the 2024 Super Rugby Women’s season.
Super Rugby Womens v Hong Kong China Rugby Viking Park, Wanniassa Saturday 3 February, 4:00PM AEDT
- Sally Fuesaina, Sydney
- Tania Naden (C), Uni-Norths Owls
- Iris Verebalavu, Uni-Norths Owls
- Lily Bone, Queanbeyan Whites
- Ash Fernandez, Canberra Royals
- Tabua Tuinakauvadra (VC), Tuggeranong Viqueens
- Katalina Amosa, Gungahlin Eagles
- Lydia Kavoa, Uni-Norths Owls
- Jay Huriwai (VC), Queanbeyan Whites
- Faitala Moleka, Sydney
- Chioma Enyi, Western Districts
- Kayla Sauvao, Sydney
- Harmony Ioane, Queanbeyan Whites
- Anastasia Martin, Canberra Royals
- Ashlea Bishop, Canberra Royals
Reserves Allana Sikimeti, Tuggeranong Viqueens Erika Maslen, Tuggeranong Viqueens Benita Ese Sale, Sydney Kyah Little, Newcastle Biola Dawa, Canberra Royals Jaimie Studdy, Sydney Jess Grant, Unit-Norths Owls Madeleine Gogala, Uni-Norths Owls Charlie Brigstocke, Uni-Norths Owls Becka Marsters, Western Districts Martha Fua, Tuggeranong Viqueens Gabrielle Petersen, Tuggeranong Viqueens Hannah Stewart, Newcastle Joanne Butler, PNG
Super Rugby Pacific v Fijian Drua Viking Park, Wanniassa Saturday 3 February, 6:00PM AEDT
- Fred Kaihea, Queanbeyan Whites
- Billy Pollard, Uni-North Owls
- Rhys van Nek, Uni-Norths Owls
- Lachlan Shaw, Gungahlin Eagles
- Cadeyrn Neville, Uni-Norths Owls
- Ed Kennedy, Canberra Royals
- Luke Reimer, Western Districts
- Charlie Cale, Uni-Norths Owls
- Harrison Goddard, Queanbeyan Whites
- Declan Meredith, Western Districts
- Matias Jensen, Uni-Norths Owls
- Austin Anderson, Western Districts
- Hudson Creighton, Queanbeyan Whites
- Corey Toole, Gungahlin Eagles
- Shane Wilcox, Tuggeranong Vikings
Harry Vella, Canberra Royals Blake Schoupp, Gungahlin Eagles Lachlan Lonergan, Tuggeranong Vikings Liam Bowron, Canberra Royals Sefo Kautai, Canberra Royals Tevita Alatini, Gungahlin Eagles Will Sankey, Uni-Norths Owls Tom Hooper, Tuggeranong Vikings Lachlan Hooper, Tuggeranong Vikings Rory Scott, Canberra Royals Jahrome Brown, Gungahlin Eagles Klayton Thorn, Gungahlin Eagles Dan Nelson, Canberra Royals Cullen Gray, Gungahlin Eagles Angus Staniforth, Canberra Royals Ollie Sapsford, Uni-Norths Owls Len Ikitau, Tuggeranong Vikings Andy Muirhead, Canberra Royals
Tickets for this weekend’s double header are still available for purchase via EventBrite.
Fans are able to watch this Saturday’s Double Header either live at Viking Park or through the live stream via BarTV.