Wallaroos keen to end Black Ferns dominance

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The two sides have met 15 times since their first game in 1994 but New Zealand has never lost its grip on the Laurie O'Reilly Memorial Trophy.

With two seasons of domestic representative rugby behind them, the Wallaroos have made several changes to their side this year and forwards coach Matt Tink told rugby.com.au on Wednesday that his side wouldn't be there to 'make up the numbers'.


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"It's a Test match, you have to believe that you can win," he said.

"We're not making up the numbers, it's not an exhibition game."

Some tough decisions had to be made in selecting the side for the game and there had been some disappointments because the challenge meant so much to them.

"These girls have a professional head but an amateur heart. They do all this for love, they're the Wallabies of the 70s and 80s.

"They go to work, study, live with mum and dad so they can play rugby," he said.

"They believe they've got a chance, we believe we've got a chance, and why wouldn't we?"

Australia has prepared for the series with a two-Test series with Japan. In the first 11 debutants took the field while in the second Test only 11 of the match 23 played in the first Test against New Zealand last year.

"We are not viewing them as that [world No.1s], we are viewing them as a traditional rival and they may have had the best of us for a little while but it doesn't matter on Saturday. There is a genuine belief among our girls.

"A couple of our girls have only been playing one or two years, they don't even know who they are.

"We have a couple more experienced girls who may have the odd battle scar, but we have removed those pretty quickly. As far as we are concerned, New Zealand are great athletes and great rugby players but they are just two arms and two legs," he said.

Tink was hoping for an improvement in the forwards after the Black Ferns dominated that area last year.

"As a forward pack we were a bit disappointed with our performances last year. We knew we could do better and it stung a little bit.

"That hurt is good. That hurt has fed some of our training and the aggression on each other. And the beautiful thing is there is a lot of competition for spots now, so I am really pleased with the pack I have got this year," he said.

With more size in his pack, Tink was looking for a better set-piece from the Wallaroos to provide top quality ball from both the scrum and lineout.

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