Australia names squad for Rugby Championship

AAC

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.”

Australia Squad:

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

One thought on “Australia names squad for Rugby Championship

  1. Seems a pretty strong team, but no Will Genia? It was only a yr or so back that he was being touted as the best 1/2 in the world!

    Also Cooper is out, so they may miss his unpreditability, sometimes anyway… or maybe not. But they might miss his ACCURATE, long passes. Does anyone pass better?

    And if JOC has grown up, he needs to get back home pronto. They’ll likely have an injury vacancy at some pt.

    And as an asside, pity Digby Ioane went off the rails… & to France. Looked a real footy player to me.

    The Oz scrum has long been derided by the English press, even though they’ve been ranked 2/3 in the world some some yrs now. Seems to me much of this opinion was based, in recent times at least, on the Oz scrum in 3rd test v The Lions. However, they held ok in the 1st 2 tests. Except for 1/2 the Oz backline, incl their kicker, going off injured in the 1st test, it would all likely have been a very different series outcome. Still, them’s the breaks.

    I expect their front row battles in this yr’s Champ’ship to be more even, not least because they have 2 semi finalists in the S15 this yr. Don’t get that far with pusseys up front methinks.

    Anyway, be interesting to see how they go, esp as they’ll need a good showing (who won’t?) with the WC a yr off.

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