Mahalia Murphy has been named in the Wallaroos squad to take on Japan in a two-game series next month, a year after losing her Aussie 7s contract.
The 26-year-old has represented Australia in Rugby League, Rugby 7s and has recently re-directed her attention to the 15-a-side competition. She missed out on an Australian 7s contract in 2018.
“[I’m] super excited with being selected in the squad to take on Japan next month on home soil. Congratulations to every girl selected,” Murphy said.
“To all the girls that missed out, keep your heads high and keep working for it.”
Coach Dwayne Nestor said the squad has been selected with next month’s Tests and the 2021 World Cup in mind. Some players have been named, despite being unavailable for the upcoming Test series.
“Even Tayla [Stanford] has been injured, she’s still a part of the program. We had based that on her form which was outstanding early on in the season especially,” Nestor said.
The Wallaroos have named a new captain for this year’s Tests. Grace Hamilton has been named skipper of the side and Murphy said she is the perfect woman for the job.
“I’m so excited for her – Grace is a great leader and I think she’s always had that leadership attitude amongst the team and she’s always been very helpful in terms of helping the girls in the squad with anything on field and off-field,” Murphy said.
Murphy comes from Blacktown in Western Sydney and is proud of her Indigenous heritage.
She may have the chance to wear it on her sleeve soon, with Rugby Australia working on a women’s Indigenous playing strip for the 2021 World Cup.
The two-test series against Japan starts in Newcastle on July 13th before heading to North Sydney on July 19th.