Fowler ruled out of World Cup opener, remains in Matildas squad

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Matildas coach Ante Milicic has opted against another last-minute 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup change-up, with Mary Fowler to stay in France despite a hamstring tweak.

The 16-year-old won't train on Saturday or play in Sunday's tournament opener with Italy.

But after reviewing scans, Milicic and his staff have decided to keep faith with the wonder-teen.

Fowler is the youngest player at the tournament and will become the youngest Australian to play at a World Cup if she debuts.

That opportunity will have to present itself later in the tournament after her setback in training on Thursday.

Milicic's main selection issue against the Italians comes in midfield.

Veteran midfielder Elise Kellond-Knight has been a central figure under Milicic, but the 28-year-old didn't train fully on Friday as she recovers from a calf problem.

Her absence left fellow midfielder Emily van Egmond exposed in the middle of the park against the Netherlands last week, with Australia suffering a 3-0 loss.

Tameka Yallop or Chloe Logarzo could be handed additional defensive duties in the World Cup clash against Italy, or 34-year-old World Cup debutant Aivi Luik could step into the fray as a second holding midfielder.

On Saturday, the Matildas were denied a chance to train at the match venue, the Stade du Hainaut in Valenciennes.

Officials requested teams kept to their off-site training venues to maintain the pitch ahead of the Group C clash.

A Saturday FIFA deadline prompted Australian officials to keep Fowler in camp.

Milicic had until 24 hours before Australia's first match to make a change, meaning his last opportunity to bring in a new face would have been 9pm AEST on Saturday.

That cut-off prompted team bosses to act on defender Laura Alleway, unfortunately ruled out of the tournament after a foot injury in training last month, and bring in uncapped 18-year-old Karly Roestbakken.

The decision to keep faith with Fowler means Kyra Cooney-Cross, who impressed over the past fortnight as a train-on player, can stay on holiday.

Source AAP