Australian Rugby Union today named a 35-woman squad for a two-Test series against the World Champion Black Ferns of New Zealand in October.
The Tests to be played in Canberra on 14 and 18 October will be the first women's rugby internationals played in Australia since the 2001 Test against England in Newcastle.
Selectors named their final 35 after the conclusion of the National Women's Championship in Currumbin, which saw Sydney retain their title in a hard fought 6-5 victory over arch rivals Queensland on Friday.
Nearly half the squad is from NSW (17), with seven from Queensland, four from WA, three each from ACT and Victoria and one from Australian Services Rugby Union.
Highlighting the increasing experience of the Wallaroos, 17 of the squad were part of last year's tour to NZ, while 15 are veterans of the 2006 IRB Women's Rugby World Cup campaign in Canada.
In a boost to the Australian Women's program, Sydney company Paper to Paper have come on board as naming rights sponsor for the next two years,
Wallaroos coach Steve Hamson said he was looking forward to the return visit of the Black Ferns after the Australians had shown a new found resilience and toughness during their 2007 tour.
"It's always good to benchmark yourself against the best in the world and the Black Ferns are certainly worthy world champions, said Hamson.
"We had a very good series against them in 2007 and showed a lot of improvement over the two matches and hopefully we can go one step further and beat them on Australian soil.
"Also having the corporate support of Paper to Paper will enable us to have the best preparation possible for this series, which is a massive boost."
The squad will attend a series of training camps before coach Hamson names his final 22 to take on the Black Ferns on September 20.
The Black Ferns return to Australia for the first time since 1998 and will be defending the Laurie O'Reilly Memorial Trophy, which they claimed during their 2-0 series win over the Wallaroos in New Zealand last year.
2008 PAPER TO PAPER WALLAROO SQUAD
Steve Hamson - Head Coach
Brendan Allardyce - Set Piece Coach
Shirley Russell - Skills Coach & Analyst
Mark Rowe - Team Manager
Dr Maja Markovic - Doctor
Simonne Spooner - Physiotherapist
Wallaroos Match Schedule
14 October 2008 v Black Ferns, Viking Park in Canberra
18 October 2008 v Black Ferns, Viking Park in Canberra