Want to talk classic Brumbies success stories? Then let's talk Jemima McCalman.
The scintillating winger spent two pre-seasons with the NSW Waratahs but couldn't crack the side. She was picked up by the President's XV for Super W in 2021. They were the best of the rest.
But now? The ACT Brumbies flyer joins Michaela Leonard among the best of the best after earning a maiden Test call-up. McCalman was recruited to Canberra for the 2022 Super W season and put in an eye-catching display.
McCalman is one of 11 debutants in line for their first Test cap when the Wallaroos return to action against Fiji in Brisbane on Friday night.
The Australian backline boasts three new faces in Queensland Reds bolter Ivania Wong, and fresh NSW centre pairing Pauline Piliae and Georgina Friedrichs.
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A Waratahs trio headline the new faces in the forward pack with lock Kaitlan Leaney, prop Bridie O'Gorman and hooker Adiana Talakai all on the cusp of a maiden Test appearance.
McCalman joins four more debutants on the bench in Reds prop Madison Schuck, and Waratahs trio Sera Naiqama, Piper Duck and Layne Morgan.
More debutants could be on the horizon with the Wallaroos to back up against Japan on the Gold Coast on Tuesday.
"With so many debutants in the side, this is a truly historic moment for the Wallaroos and signals a clear path forward for our program," coach Jay Tregonning said.
"The team has waited an extremely long time for this Test and the group. I couldn't be prouder of this group for the work they put in to come together as one cohesive unit."
COVID-19 has robbed the Australian women's team of a Test since August 2019 with these looming Tests in Queensland to provide an overdue litmus test ahead of the World Cup in New Zealand in October.
Friday: Wallaroos v Fijiana at Lang Park, 5pm.
Wallaroos squad: 1. Liz Patu, 2. Adiana Talakai, 3. Bridie O'Gorman, 4. Michela Leonard, 5. Kaitlan Leaney, 6.Emily Chancellor, 7. Shannon Parry (C), 8. Grace Hamilton, 9. Iliseva Batibasaga, 10. Arabella Mckenzie, 11. Ivania Wong, 12. Pauline Piliae, 13. Georgina Friedrichs, 14. Mahalia Murphy, 15. Lori Cramer. Reserves: 16. Ashley Marsters, 17. Madison Schuck, 18. Asoiva (Eva) Karpani, 19. Sera Naiqama, 20. Piper Duck, 21. Layne Morgan, 22. Trilleen Pomare, 23. Jemima McCalman.
My passion for journalism can be traced back to Mighty Ducks match reports and reading the Sunday paper with my old man. A love of sport turned into a passion for telling stories, breaking news and being a reliable voice.
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