Super Rugby Women’s Semi-Finals teams: Friday doubleheader, Karpani to start, Palu makes history for Brumbies


And then, there were four. Super Rugby Women’s enters it’s final fortnight, and with the Reds and Rebels campaigns coming to a close, this Friday sees matches in Fiji and Sydney, as the Drua host the big improvers in the Western Force, while the Waratahs welcome the Brumbies to Allianz Stadium. The winners go through to the big dance next week.

See all the team news below.


Fijiana Drua v Western Force, 2:35 pm AEST

Yep, you read that right. The rugby starts before 3pm on Friday this week, and it is set to be a great clash in Suva, serving as the pre-cursor to the Drua-Hurricanes clash later in the evening. The double headers have proven a real hit in Fiji, and with the chance of the Drua having a tilt at a third title, the locals should turn out in force.

Speaking of which, the visitors will come into this game with only two chances to the side that knocked off the Brumbies in Canberra, with Japan international front-rower Misaki Suzuki coming onto the bench as a replacement to Canadian international Sara Cline, who is now in camp ahead of the Pacific Four series. However, the big return is the veteran Wallaroo Trilleen Pomare, who slots back into the starting side and captaincy role.

The Force will be filled with confidence going into this maiden finals campaign and will be desperate to make up for the 19–5 loss they sustained the last time they made the trip to the islands. The hosts will be ringing in several changes after their surprise loss to the Rebels last week.

Bitila Tawake is the key return, with the former captain coming across from Super Rugby Aupiki to rejoin the Drua. Anasimeci Korovata returns to the front row, as does a new halves combination in Setaita Railumu and Jeniffer Ravutia. Lastly, Merewalesi Rokouono will start as an injury cover at inside centre.

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DRUA (1-15): Salanieta Nabuli, Keleni Marawa, Anasimeci Korovata, 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, Bitila Tawake, Vika Matarugu, Mereoni Nakesa, Fulori Rotagavira, Evivi Senikarivi, Salanieta Kinita, Repeka Tove

FORCE (1-15): Alapeta Ngauamo, Hera-Barb Malcolm Heke, Natsuki Kashiwagi, Michaela Leonard, Rosie Ebbage, Lucy Dinnen, Anneka Stephens, Tamika Jones, Samantha Wood, Nicole Ledington, Siutiti Ma’ake, Trilleen Pomare (c), Sheree Hume, Brooklyn Teki-Joyce, Renae Nona

RESERVES: Misaki Suzuki, Hannah Palelei, Harono Te Iringa, Libya Teepa, Keira MacAskill, Dallys Tini, Haylee Hifo, Georgia Cormick

NSW Waratahs v ACT Brumbies, 5:45 pm AEST

The Waratahs take centre stage at Allianz Stadium for the second match of the weekend, as they look to get back to the big dance against a dangerous ACT Brumbies side.

Making their second finals appearance in as many years, the Brumbies came close to surprising the Reds last year, and have more than enough firepower to spring a surprise on the minor premiers.

Despite the loss in Canberra last week, only one change has been made to the starting side, with Jemima McCalman set to return to the back three. The match will also be a significant one for Wallaroo and Captain Siokapesi Palu, who will become the first player to achieve 25 matches for the club.

Up against them, the Waratahs have named a strong squad, with massive inclusions. Firstly, the return of captain and Wallaroo Piper Duck after missing the last match due to injury, and the first starting cap for 2023 Wallaroos player of the year, Eva Karpani. The Brumbies will have a lot of work trying to contain the dangerous prop.

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WARATAHS (1-15): Brianna Hoy, Brittany Merlo, Eva Karpani, 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, Bridie O’Gorman, Annabelle Codey, Sera Naiqama, Tatum Bird, Waiaria Ellis, Jade Sheridan

BRUMBIES (1-15): Sally Fuesaina, Tania Naden, Iroha Kisimoto, Kate Holland, Ash Fernandez, Siokapesi Palu (c), Lydia Kavoa, Tabua Tuinakauvadra, Kolora Lomani, Faitala Moleka, Jemima McCalman, Kayla Sauvao, Harmony Ioane, Biola Dawa, Ashlea Bishop

RESERVES: Erika Maslen, Allana Sikimeti, Iris Verebalavu, Jess Grant, Loretta Mailangi, Bonnie Brewer, Kyah Little, Chioma Enyi

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