“Wet willies, cheek kisses, maybe a few wedgies”: Cramer pumped for Welsh clubmate reunion | Latest Rugby News | RUGBY.com.au
2024/04/01

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Lori Cramer won’t be holding back when she spies Welsh duo Abbie Fleming and Robyn Wilks at Mount Smart Stadium on Friday night.

In fact, they might get a little more than they bargained when they reunite with their Exeter Chiefs Aussie clubmate.

“I’m really excited for that,” Cramer told rugby.com.au.

“I love rugby when I’m having fun so to be able to play against some mates, maybe a few wet willies in the ruck, couple kisses on the cheek? We’ll see how we go.

“Maybe a few wedgies? Nah just kidding, we’ll be very professional and we’ll be serious.”

Cramer spent last season with Exeter in the UK Premier Women’s Rugby competition and is relishing the chance to tackle “Robbo” and “Flembo” in Australia’s final WXV1 clash.

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Fleming will start in the second row with Wilks a playmaking option off the pine.

“They’ve never been called Robbo or Flembo but I said if you come to Australia, you kind of just get your name plus an O on the end,” Cramer said.

“Flembo’s really good, she’s just a powerhouse – the kind of girl you don’t want to go in a non-contact drill against because you’ll end up getting absolutely flattened.

“Robbo, I’ve done a lot of kicks with her as well. She’s a 10 but starting on the bench this week. I’ve had a lot of time practicing against her, trying to do some kick battles and trying

to out-step each other in the ice that we got to play in in Exeter.

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Cramer’s inside knowledge and experience will vital if called upon to finish the side she helped topple in last year’s Rugby World Cup.

The 18-cap Wallaroo was instrumental in a 13-7 victory over Wales – kicking eight points including a 78th minute sealer – and returns to the match-day squad following a four-week injury layover.

Cramer’s boot could well prove the difference again, but the 30-year-old is confident Australia won’t need it if they can replicate last week’s giant-killing performance.

“I think this is the longest break I’ve had in quite a while. For a lot of us these days, the longest breaks we get is if we get pushed out with injury,” Cramer said.

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“Four weeks ago, I thought I was out for a really long time, wasn’t really sure what I was dealing with, so the fact that I’m back on the pitch hopefully tomorrow, well I’m just really excited to be back out there and playing any rugby.

“I think we’ve come so far as a group and we’re finally starting to play the kind of footy we always knew that we were capable of. If we can play the kind of rugby we want to tomorrow, we’re going to score a lot of points.

“We’ve got a lot of really capable kickers now … we’re all capable of the job and if it comes down to that then I reckon we’ve got it.”

Cramer has been an almost automatic selection in Australia’s starting back three since her 2019 debut against Japan in Newcastle.

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But the Sydney Uni flyer has nothing but admiration for her back three rivals – including club mate and this week’s starting fullback Faitala Moleka.

“I’ve been playing with her for the last two or three years at Sydney University and the second I saw her on the training pitch I went holy hell, these young kids, wow.”

“She’s been playing park footy, school footy and she’s got so much confidence to do ballsy things and real risky kind of moves … she’s such a natural footy player.

“Even (Melanie) Wilks last week, Wilks has been grinding it out here for maybe two plus years and she killed it as well.

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I’ve been watching Wilksy play and playing against her for a while in sevens and XVs so for these girls to be having game time, I think the future of Australian rugby for women is huge.

“Everyone’s so instinctual from playing park footy or touch and the transferable skills from the different sports we’re able to play I think is really going to benefit us in the future.

Australia kick off their final WXV1 clash against Wales this afternoon (Friday 3 November) at 5pm AEDT LIVE on Stan Sport.

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