NSW Waratahs, Fijian Drua confirm sides for Super Rugby W Final

NSW Waratahs, Fijian Drua confirm sides for Super Rugby W Final

The NSW Waratahs and Fijian Drua have confirmed settled squads for Sunday's Super Rugby Women's Final in Brisbane.

The Waratahs have named the same 23 players that defeated the Brumbies in Sydney, with one positional change.

This will see Eva Karpani swap with Bridie O'Gorman, with the Wallaroos Player of the Year set to come off the reserves.

As for the Drua, they have been forced into their own front-row change after the suspension to Ana Korovata.

Former captain Bitila Tawake makes her first start of the season, returning to the Drua for the semi-final.

It's the lone change to the starting side, with Loraini Senivutu and Tiana Robanakadavu amongst the players coming into the reserves.

Prop Emily Robinson will become the most capped Waratah of all time with her 33rd appearance on Sunday, reflecting on the achievement as she hunts for her fifth title.

"I'm pretty proud. With the capping process, we discovered all these records that weren't previously in public so it's really cool," she told reporters.

Maya Stewart finishes off a cross-field kick from Desi Miller in the semi-final of Buildcorp Super Rugby Women's 2024

"I've played here since the inception of the Waratahs, I love this club and hopefully can add a few more years of playing time."

The two teams have built a storied rivalry since the Drua's inception in 2022.

The Waratahs had won the opening four Super Rugby Women's title (formally Super W) before the Drua defeated them in the 2022 Final in Melbourne.

In 2023, the Fijians went back-to-back after a comeback win over the minor premier Waratahs in Sydney in the semi-finals.

The Waratahs finally broke through for their first win in 2024 with a 41-point win in Lautoka.

“I think once you lose that 2022 (Final), it’s a different feeling and to not be there last year was pretty heartbreaking,” Robinson said.

“They play a completely different style of Rugby to the Aussie sides so it’s been really cool having them in the competition. Their style of play is crazy and it’s a credit to them and how they’ve grown up and played so that’s a big challenge for  us and I think we’ve learnt from past years.

“Everyone talks about them and their style, how they play and how they’re so good but I think we fly under the radar a bit. Everyone thinks that we just give it to the fast people and let them score but it’s not how our team plays…We all know what it means for us and how we get there so at the end of the day we’ve got a job to do.”

Sunday 28 April 2:00 pm AEST – NSW Waratahs v Fijian Drua at Ballymore, Brisbane, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport

WARATAHS (1-15): Brianna Hoy, Brittany Merlo, Bridie O'Gorman, Kaitlan Leaney, Atasi Lafai, Leilani Nathan, Skye Churchill, Piper Duck, Layne Morgan, Arabella McKenzie, Desiree Miller, Katrina Barker, Georgina Friedrichs (c), Maya Stewart, Caitlyn Halse

RESERVES: Siusiuosalafai Volkman, Emily Robinson, Eva Karpani, Annabelle Codey, Sera Naiqama, Tatum Bird, Waiaria Ellis, Jade Sheridan

DRUA (1-15): Salanieta Nabuli, Keleni Marawa, Bitila Tawake, Jade Coates, Asinate Serevi, Nunia Daunimoala, Sulita Waisega, Karalaini Naisewa (c), Setaita Railumu, Jenifer Ravutia, Adita Milinia, Merewalesi Rokouno, Vani Arei, Merewairita Neivosa, Atelaite Buna

RESERVES: Litia Marama, Loraini Senivutu, Tiana Robanakadavu, Mereoni Nakesa, Fulori Rotagavira, Evivi Senikarivi, Salanieta Kinita, Repeka Tove

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