Wallabies names squad for Internationals

May 27 • General News, International, National, Super Rugby, Super Rugby News • 1863 Views • Comments Off on Wallabies names squad for Internationals

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The Wallabies facing Wales in Cardiff, December 2011. Photo by Stu Forster /Getty Images Europe.

Thirty nine players have today been named for the Qantas Wallabies train on squad ahead of the 2012 international season.

The Queensland Reds and Western Force members of the squad have assembled in Sydney this evening. They will be joined midweek by players from the other franchises, who will spend Wednesday with the national side before returning to their respective state sides to prepare for the upcoming Fx Pro Super Rugby round.

Qantas Wallabies coach Robbie Deans appreciates the assistance the franchises have provided, in releasing the players, in order that they can get some background ahead of the full squad assembly on Sunday June 3.

“The cooperation of the franchises has been considerable and we appreciate that,” Deans says.

“We’ve obviously sought to have as little disruption to their campaigns as is possible, but the solution provided by utilising the training day off does at least allow us to get the players started – both with organisational logistics and training background – as we will have to hit the ground running once the final group gathers.”

Deans and his fellow selectors, coaching coordinator Tony McGahan, assistant coach Andrew Blades, and David Nucifora; will name the match night squad to play the Castrol EDGE Rugby International against Scotland on June 3.

That is just 48 hours before the historic match, which will represent the first Test match to have been held at Newcastle.

Although acknowledging that it will be a tight preparation, Deans says delaying the naming until after the final match featuring Australian participation in the weekend’s Super Rugby round had concluded; was imperative.

“We can’t finalise a side for that match until all of the games are played, and we are in a position to assess all of the players,” Deans says.

“Obviously we have preliminary ideas but the selection template is a living document. It can, and probably will change, as a result of events through the final round of Super Rugby before the international break.”

The manner in which selection plans can be disrupted was evidenced last evening with the hamstring injury suffered by Qantas Wallabies skipper James Horwill.

Although Horwill has assembled in Sydney and will have scans tomorrow, it is expected that he will be ruled out of the June Tests meaning that the Qantas Wallabies will have a new captain for those matches.

Flyhalf Kurtley Beale is also potentially in doubt after injuring his shoulder playing for the Melbourne Rebels in Wellington last night.

Beale had scans this evening, and while he has still been selected, a time-scale as to when he can return to training and play is still to be determined.

The injury cloud over Beale, and the existing injury which has sidelined James O’Connor, has resulted in the selection of Quade Cooper, even though the Queensland Reds flyhalf has had just 120 minutes of playing time in his comeback from the knee ligaments he ruptured at last year’s Rugby World Cup.

While acknowledging that Cooper was short of match play, Deans says that calling him into training with the national squad will help assist with bringing him up to speed for a return to a Test arena.

As well as the match night twenty-two for the Scotland Test, the remainder of the Qantas Wallabies squad that will train ahead of the Castrol EDGE Wales Tour will also be confirmed next Sunday, although the exact size of that group, and how many of the players will depart after the Scotland Test, won’t be confirmed until after that Test has been played.

“We are effectively having to select two combinations at the same time, as the first Castrol EDGE Wales Tour Test in Brisbane follows just four days after the game in Newcastle, so we need to have an up-to-date picture before we complete that process,” Deans says.

Fifteen of the players named tonight are yet to represent Australia in a Test match.

The state representation within the training squad is as follows –

Queensland Reds 11 players, NSW Waratahs 11, Brumbies eight, Melbourne Rebels five and Western Force four.

The Qantas Wallabies train on squad is:

Brumbies: Ben Alexander, Michael Hooper, Pat McCabe, Jesse Mogg, Stephen Moore, Dan Palmer, Joseph Tomane, Nic White.

Melbourne Rebels: Kurtley Beale, Cadeyrn Neville, Nick Phipps, Hugh Pyle, Cooper Vuna.

NSW Waratahs: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Berrick Barnes, Dave Dennis, Kane Douglas, Bernard Foley, Rob Horne, Sekope Kepu, Wycliff Palu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson, Sitaleki Timani.

Queenslands Reds: Quade Cooper, Anthony Faingaa, Saia Faingaa, Will Genia, Michael Harris, Scott Higginbotham, Digby Ioane, Luke Morahan, Dominic Shipperley, Rob Simmons, James Slipper.

Western Force: Salesi Ma’afu, Ben McCalman, David Pocock, Nathan Sharpe.



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