Quade Cooper has missed out on a spot in the Australian squad for the test series against the British and Irish Lions. The six remaining spots in the squad were this morning confirmed as going to Hugh McMeniman, Kurtly Beale, Digby Ioane, Pat McCabe, Peter Kimlin and the uncapped Scott Sio.
Coach Robbie Deans also confirmed that Reds lock James Horwill would be captain for the tour.
21-year old Sio is the son of Samoan prop Tevati Sio, and takes the number of uncapped players in the squad to four. “Scott has had a remarkable year,” Deans said. “While he is still developing his game, his work rate around the field, impact in contact and in defence, and the raw power he brings to his set piece indicated to us that he was ready to get under way.”
Beale, who has had a difficult year as much off the pitch as on it, is the man who appears to have benefitted from Cooper’s snub. “We know what Kurtley is capable of in this arena,” added Deans. “He showed that as recently as last year’s Spring Tour when he performed outstandingly and led the team from fly-half in adverse circumstances against many of the opposition players we now face again.
“His work last week during the first camp supported our contention that it was not too soon for him to get started again, from either a physical or a mental stand point. His physical state is a testament, both to how hard he has worked, but also his desire to get started again.”
Squad: Ben Alexander (Brumbies), Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs), Berrick Barnes (Waratahs), Kurtley Beale (Melbourne Rebels), Nick Cummins (Western Force), Dave Dennis (Waratahs), Kane Douglas (Waratahs), Saia Fainga’a (Reds), Israel Folau (Waratahs), Will Genia (Reds), Liam Gill (Reds), Michael Hooper (Waratahs), Rob Horne (Waratahs), James Horwill (Reds), Digby Ioane (Reds), Sekope Kepu (Waratahs), Peter Kimlin (Brumbies), Christian Leali’ifano (Brumbies), Pat McCabe (Brumbies), Ben McCalman (Western Force), Hugh McMeniman (Western Force), Stephen Moore (Brumbies), Ben Mowen (Brumbies), James O’Connor (Melbourne Rebels), Wycliff Palu (Waratahs), Nick Phipps (Melbourne Rebels), Benn Robinson (Waratahs), Rob Simmons (Reds), Scott Sio (Brumbies), James Slipper (Reds), Joe Tomane (Brumbies).