Reece Hodge is the star name picked for the Australia A team to take part in next month’s Pacific Nations Cup in Fiji.
The squad is combined of eight capped Wallabies as well as in-form players from Super Rugby Pacific in 2022.
Hodge is joined by Feleti Kaitu’u, Tom Robertson, Fraser McReight, Lalakai Foketi and Filipo Daugunu all were a part of the Wallabies outfit in 2022 earning test caps during The Rugby Championship and Spring Tour respectively.
Backrower Ned Hanigan has also been named in the squad after making his return Super Rugby Pacific for the NSW Waratahs following a stint in Japan with the Kurita Water Gush.
As was mentioned on The Roar yesterday the Australia A team means that players who missed out on Wallaby selection get valuable international experience instead of going back to club land.
Ben Donaldson, Will Harris, Mark Nawaqanitawase and McReight will reunite with their former Junior Wallabies Coach from the 2019 U20s Championship where Australia fell just short against France in the decider.
The team is comprised of nine players each from the Waratahs and Reds, six from the Western Force, three Brumbies and two Rebels.
The group will assemble on Sunday 26 June in Sydney before travelling to Fiji for their first game on Saturday 2 July against Samoa in Suva.
“The team has a good combination of experienced and young players and I think the team will get a lot out of the upcoming tournament in Fiji,” Australia A Head Coach Jason Gilmore said.
“Looking at some of the names included in the squad it is apparent that the depth within Australian Rugby continues to grow and I think our inclusion in the Pacific Nations Cup will be beneficial.”
Australia A Pacific Nations Cup Squad
Tim Anstee (Western Force)
Jock Campbell (Queensland Reds)
Filipo Daugunu (Queensland Reds)
Ben Donaldson (NSW Waratahs)
Tane Edmed (NSW Waratahs)
Matt Faessler (Queensland Reds)
Lalakai Foketi (NSW Waratahs)
Feao Fotuaika (Queensland Reds)
Matt Gibbon (Melbourne Rebels)
Langi Gleeson (NSW Waratahs)
Ned Hanigan (NSW Waratahs)
Will Harris (NSW Waratahs)
Reece Hodge (Melbourne Rebels)
Harry Hoopert (Queensland Reds)
Harry Johnson-Holmes (NSW Waratahs)
Feleti Kaitu’u (Western Force)
Ryan Lonergan (Brumbies)
Ryan McCauley (Western Force)
Fraser McReight (Queensland Reds)
Andy Muirhead (Brumbies)
Mark Nawaqanitawase (NSW Waratahs)
Dylan Pietsch (NSW Waratahs)
Billy Pollard (Brumbies)
Jackson Pugh (Western Force)
Tom Robertson (Western Force)
Ryan Smith (Queensland Reds)
Hamish Stewart (Queensland Reds)
Jake Strachan (Western Force)
Seru Uru (Queensland Reds)