The Rugby World Cup is just around the corner, and that means it’s time for the Wallabies squad to be announced.
Michael Cheika will pick his 31-man group for the sport’s showpiece tournament on Friday at 9am (AEST), but we want you to tell us before then who should be included for the trip to Japan?
The original Rugby Championship squad was 36 players, so at least five will have to be cut from that, and that’s if Michael Cheika doesn’t go outside of the original group picked, which he has indicated he may do.
While all of the stars of the first-up Bledisloe Cup victory are expected to be there, as well as Rob Simmons, Adam Ashely-Cooper and Liam Wright who came in for Game 2, the other five spots in the squad seem less secure.
Despite battling injury, Rory Arnold and David Pocock are both expected to be selected for the Australian outfit. Arnold played in Bledisloe 1, however, Pocock didn’t take part in the series as he continues his recovery from a calf injury.
Adding the duo to the 26 players already used would leave just three spots up for grabs in Cheika’s squad.
The eight remaining members of the squad were Dane Haylett-Petty, Tevita Kuridrani, Jordan Petaia, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Joe Powell, Sekope Kepu, Jordan Uelese and Rob Valenti.
While it might appear Cheika won’t look outside his 34-man group picked for the Bledisloe Cup, there may be temptation given the Wallabies were mauled 36-0 in Game 2 of the Bledisloe Cup.
Upon arrving home from Auckland, Cheika said that Will Skelton may be an option for the green and gold, while Jack Dempsey and Tom Robertson could also be selected on Friday morning.
Despite playing the last two years in France and only having 18 Tests to his name, Rugby Australia have reportedly been working hard to get Skelton to sign on the dotted line for a return home.
However, Skelton’s selection seems extremely unlikely.
Other names who could be considered by the selection panel include Harry Johnson-Holmes, Sam Carter, Matt Philip, Pete Samu, Tate McDermott, Quade Cooper, Jack Maddocks and Jake Gordon.
In 2015, Cheika’s squad for a World Cup where the Wallabies fell in the final to the All Blacks featured 17 forwards and 14 backs, and with a punishing schedule of matches, it’s expected to be similar once again.
On the form below, we want you to cast your vote on who should be included in the 31-man World Cup squad for the Wallabies, and we will reveal the results on Thursday morning.
We’ve arranged your options roughly by position (props, hookers, locks, back rowers, halfbacks, flyhalfs, centres, outside backs), and the forwards/backs split – and all the finer positional splits – is entirely up to you.