Ewen McKenzie has named his 32-man squad for the upcoming Rugby Championship, including the Brumbies’ Fijian-born winger Henry Speight who is in line to win his first cap for the Wallabies.
Speight doesn’t qualify to play for Australia until September 11th, so will miss the first three games of the championship, but his inclusion shows how highly thought of he is in Australian rugby circles.
The squad is captained by Michael Hooper, and contains 25 of the group that whitewashed France 3-0 in the June series.
“We’ve come a long way as a group over the past 12 months and the consistency we’re now applying across selections, high-performance behaviours and our playing style is a positive sign that we are heading in the right direction,” McKenzie said.
“The challenge for us now is to continue this consistency throughout The Rugby Championship, beginning with a Bledisloe Cup clash against New Zealand.”
Forwards: Ben Alexander, Pek Cowan, James Slipper, Sekope Kepu, Scott Sio, Tatafu Polota-Nau, James Hanson, Nathan Charles, James Horwill, Rob Simmons, Will Skelton, Sam Carter, Scott Fardy, Scott Higginbotham, Michael Hooper (captain), Matt Hodgson, Wycliff Palu, Ben McCalman.
Backs: Nic White, Nick Phipps, Luke Burgess, Bernard Foley, Kurtley Beale, Matt Toomua, Christian Leali’ifano, Tevita Kuridrani, Rob Horne, Joe Tomane, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Henry Speight, Pat McCabe, Israel Folau.
Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images