The Modern EraIn 1994, 1995 and 1996, the Wallaroos played test matches against the World Cup victors New Zealand as well as the USA in Brisbane in 1997. However, it was not until 1998 (under the umbrella of the IRB), that the Wallaroos were able to travel to Amsterdam for their first World Cup match against Ireland winning 21-0, but narrowly losing to France 8-10, before playing the well established and experienced English team who won 30-13. Successes were recorded against Spain 17-15 and Scotland 25-15.
Progress continued in the northern hemisphere with the introduction of a Five Nations competition in 1999 between England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and France. This was increased to Six Nations in 2002 with Italy.
New Zealand Women's Rugby also continued to progress in the world arena, but this was not the case in Australia which lagged behind, only being involved in the 2002 World Cup in Barcelona and the 2006 World Cup in Edmonton.
The only other test where Australia has had the opportunity to gain experience was against England in 2001 in Sydney and Newcastle and New Zealand in Wanganui and Wellington in 2007. Due to lack of world-class exposure they wre defeated in all three test matches, against England and New Zealand.
It is therefore of little surprise the Wallaroos were unsuccessful in the 2006 IRB World Cup in Edmonton due to the lack of serious international competition. The natural abilities and skills of these dedicated women were certainly evident, where they achieved success over South Africa and Ireland.
Despire the dedication of these women who are passionate about their rugby, it was difficult for Australian Women's Rugby to make serious challenges against the more experienced New Zealand and northern hemisphere teams. The 2009 IRB brought about the welcome announcement for a Women's World Cup challenge in Dubai for 7s. Australia won this historic first ever tournament.
The Wallaroos were captained by Warringah's Cheryl Soon, and the team included Alex Hargraves, Ruan Sims and the vereran Selena Tranter, as well as four new caps who were recruited from touch football, including Rebecca Tavo, Amanda Judd and also Nicole Beck.
With Rugby Sevens almost certain to be included in the 2016 Olympics, Sevens by the Sea at Warringah will be the final selection for Hong Kong Sevens and a stepping stone for future Olympics.