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Jack Dempsey is a chance of making his return to Test rugby against the All Blacks in Japan, having been named in Michael Cheika’s Wallabies squad for Bledisloe 3.
Dempsey has been playing for the Sydney Rays in this year’s NRC, but hasn’t suited up for Australia since badly injuring his hamstring against the Barbarians before last year’s Spring Tour.
Also making his return from injury for the trip to Japan is Queensland Reds centre Samu Kerevi. Kerevi sustained a torn bicep and missed the entire Rugby Championship, with Reece Hodge taking his place at outside centre during the tournament.
However, there is no sign of Kerevi’s fellow centre Tevita Kuridrani, who also missed the Rugby Championship through injury – although in Kuridrani’s case it was a torn pectoral muscle which was the issue.
In truth, there are few eye-raising selections from Michael Cheika, although the inclusion of Jed Holloway in a Wallabies squad for the first time is the biggest surprise. Holloway is one of three uncapped players in the touring party alongside fellow Waratah Jake Gordon and the Melbourne Rebels’ Angus Cotrell.
European-based players Matt Toomua and Tatafu Polota-Nau are back on club duty with Leicester and will miss the Bledisloe clash in Yokohama, while Pete Samu has missed out on selection.
The bulk of the squad will fly out on Saturday night with Bledisloe 3 to follow the week after, however Brumbies and Canberra Vikings duo Tom Banks and Rory Arnold will head to Japan a day later, having been released for the Vikings’ NRC semi-final in Fiji against the Drua.
Cheika won’t name his squad for the 2018 Spring Tour until after Bledisloe 3.
Jermaine Ainsley (1 Test, Melbourne Rebels, 23)
Allan Alaalatoa (29 Tests, Brumbies, 24)
Rory Arnold (18 Tests, Brumbies, 28)
Adam Coleman (28 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 26)
Angus Cottrell* (uncapped, Melbourne Rebels, 28)
Jack Dempsey (6 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 24)
Folau Fainga’a (5 Tests, Brumbies, 23)
Ned Hanigan (17 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 23)
Jed Holloway* (uncapped, NSW Waratahs, 25)
Michael Hooper (c) (87 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 26)
Sekope Kepu (99 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 32)
Tolu Latu (9 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 25)
Brandon Paenga-Amosa (4 Tests, Queensland Reds, 22)
David Pocock (74 Tests, Brumbies, 30)
Izack Rodda (13 Tests, Queensland Reds, 22)
Rob Simmons (90 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)
Scott Sio (51 Tests, Brumbies, 27)
Taniela Tupou (8 Tests, Queensland Reds, 22)
Tom Banks (2 Tests, Brumbies, 24)
Kurtley Beale (80 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)
Israel Folau (69 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)
Bernard Foley (64 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)
Will Genia (96 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 30)
Jake Gordon* (uncapped, NSW Waratahs, 25)
Dane Haylett-Petty (27 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 29)
Reece Hodge (33 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 24)
Samu Kerevi (21 Tests, Queensland Reds, 25)
Marika Koroibete (17 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 26)
Jack Maddocks (5 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 21)
Sefa Naivalu (7 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 26)
Nick Phipps (69 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)