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The Wallabies squad is picked from available Australian players who play in Super Rugby, or who play in overseason competition as long as they have seven years of Australian rugby experience and at least 60 Test caps under their belts.
Coach Michael Cheika has announced a 34-man squad for the first Test of the upcoming Rugby Championship with the Rugby World Cup in September on the radar for players and coaches alike.
For opening Rugby Championship match versus South Africa in Johannesburg.
|Michael Hooper (c)||Adam Ashley-Cooper|
|Allan Alaalatoa||Tom Banks|
|Rory Arnold||Kurtley Beale|
|Jack Dempsey||Bernard Foley|
|Folau Fainga’a||Will Genia|
|Luke Jones||Dane Haylett-Petty|
|Sekope Kepu||Reece Hodge|
|Tolu Latu||Samu Kerevi|
|Isi Naisarani*||Marika Koroibete|
|Tom Robertson||Tevita Kuridrani|
|Izack Rodda||Christian Lealiifano|
|Rob Simmons||Jack Maddocks|
|Lukhan Salakaia-Loto||Joe Powell|
|Scott Sio||Matt Toomua|
|James Slipper||Nic White|
The squad – the first one picked under the new selection panel of Cheika, Scott Johnson and Michael O’Connor – has seen the return of veterans, the exclusion of big names and a forward pack full of youth as the Wallabies look to turn around a horrible 2018 into a successful World Cup year.
Nic White returns to the Wallabies setup for the first time since his last Test in 2015, while Christian Lealiifano and James Slipper also come back into the side after three and two years out respectively. Adam Ashely-Cooper has retained his place after making his Wallabies comeback on the 2018 Spring Tour.
After missing the first training session, David Pocock has missed out on selection having not recovered from injury in time as he continues to race the clock for a return to the green and gold in the near-future.
Pocock isn’t the only player to have missed out due to injury. Uncapped youngster Jordan Petaia has been denied of a potential debut for the second time through injury, joining Pete Samu and Adam Coleman on the list of injury-related omissions from the squad.
There are three uncapped players in the squad – all in the forwards: Isi Naisarani, Rob Valentini and Liam Wright.
James O’Connor wasn’t named in the squad but has travelled with the squad to train in South Africa, as has Pocock as he continues his recovery from his calf injury.
Also overlooked was Quade Cooper, whose chances of appearing at a third consecutive World Cup now appear slim.
The Wallabies first Test of 2019 will be against South Africa in the early hours of Sunday, July 21 (AEST).