Australia's Wallabies Rugby News

Cheika cuts Wallabies squad to 33 for first England test




Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika has named a 33-man for next weekend’s first Test match against England at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

Cheika has included seven potential debutants in the squad following a training camp on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.

“We had a great week in Caloundra and the competition for spots has been intense during each of the sessions,” Head Coach Michael Cheika said.

“All of the players in the broader squad will be picked at some point during the series and I know that any of them could step in if asked at anytime.”

The announcement caps a whirlwind week for Melbourne Rebels young gun Reece Hodge who was a late call-up as injury cover for Rebels teammate Mike Harris.

“Reece has really impressed me this week after being thrown into the deep end,” Cheika said.

“It’s not just about being in the environment for him now and I know he’ll be pushing for selection in the match day 23.”

The rejuvenated squad features 22 members of the Wallabies’ 2015 Rugby World Cup squad while former Wallabies captain James Horwill (Harlequins, UK) is the only overseas based selection after the New South Wales Waratahs announced the signing of veteran prop Sekope Kepu.

Kepu was granted a release from the final two years of his deal with French club Bordeaux and will now link with the Wallabies immediately after he touches down in Australia.

“I really enjoyed my time in France, while experiencing a new rugby culture with my family,” Kepu said.

“The opportunity to come home and reconnect with the Wallabies and play Super Rugby is an honour for me, and I am looking forward to joining the boys and working hard to earn a spot in the team against England during the series.”

A limited number of tickets are still available for the three Test series against England which kicks-off at Suncorp Stadium on June 11.

Wallabies 33-man training squad

Alan Alaalatoa* (Brumbies)
Rory Arnold* (Brumbies)
Sam Carter (Brumbies)
Scott Fardy (Brumbies)
Israel Folau (NSW Waratahs)
Bernard Foley (NSW Waratahs)
Nick Frisby* (Queensland Reds)
Dane Haylett-Petty* (Western Force)
Reece Hodge* (Melbourne Rebels)
Greg Holmes (Queensland Reds)
Michael Hooper (NSW Waratahs)
Rob Horne (NSW Waratahs)
James Horwill (Harlequins)
Karmichael Hunt* (Queensland Reds)
Sekope Kepu (NSW Waratahs)
Samu Kerevi* (Queensland Reds)
Tevita Kuridrani (Brumbies)
Christian Lealiifano (Brumbies)
Ben McCalman (Western Force)
Sean McMahon (Melbourne Rebels)
Stephen Moore (Brumbies)
Luke Morahan (Western Force)
Dean Mumm (NSW Waratahs)
Taqele Naiyaravoro (NSW Waratahs)
Wycliff Palu (NSW Waratahs)
Nick Phipps (NSW Waratahs)
David Pocock (Brumbies)
Tatafu Polota-Nau (NSW Waratahs)
Rob Simmons (Queensland Reds)
Scott Sio (Brumbies)Will Skelton (NSW Waratahs)
James Slipper (Queensland Reds)
Toby Smith (Melbourne Rebels)

*denotes uncapped at Test level

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