Rugby Union: Mayfield's Katrina Barker keen to return for Wallaroos in World Cup on home soil

GOAL: Mayfield's Katrina Barker (second from left). Picture: Marina Neil
GOAL: Mayfield's Katrina Barker (second from left). Picture: Marina Neil

Mayfield’s Katrina Barker was already working towards getting back on the rugby field, now she has even more incentive. 

The injured 25-year-old halfback wants to be out in the middle representing the Wallaroos again at the next World Cup, but it would be even sweeter playing the 2021 tournament on home soil.

“Bloody oath,” Barker told the Newcastle Herald.  

“To play a World Cup on home soil would be amazing. It was so exciting to hear that during the week. My goal is to be back for Super W next year and then trying to get back into the Wallaroos team for the next World Cup, especially if it’s going to be here in Newcastle.” 

Earlier this week the NSW Government pledged $5million to boost Australia’s bid to host the 2021 women’s rugby World Cup in Newcastle and the Hunter. 

Barker, who plays with Newcastle club side The Waratahs after joining University last season, represented the Wallaroos at last year’s World Cup in Ireland. 

She is currently recovering from recent surgery on her elbow, which she dislocated playing for NSW in the inaugural Super W final in April.  

Barker, a carpenter by trade who returned to work last month, said she will be on the sidelines in Sydney on Saturday week (August 18) to “support” many of her national teammates in the historic Bledisloe Cup double header.

Australia and New Zealand will go head-to-head in back-to-back men’s and women’s Test matches at the Olympic Stadium next weekend. It will be the Wallaroos’ first game at home since 2008 and female players are set to receive match payments and squad assembly fees for time taken away from work and family.   

World Cup 2021 bids for the women’s competition, which has never been held in the Southern Hemisphere, have also been announced by New Zealand, France, England, Wales and Portugal. 

Maitland’s Mollie Gray, 28, represented the Wallaroos at the previous two World Cups in France (2014) and Ireland (2017).