Caloundra - James Horwill will captain Australia in the Test series against the
British and Irish Lions and troubled back Kurtley Beale has also made
the final squad, the Australian Rugby Union said on Monday.
the Reds lock who was Australia's 2011 Tri-Nations-winning
skipper, returns to the captaincy after a hamstring injury last year
ruled him out of the entire Test season.
Beale, who has been
undergoing rehabilitation for alcohol problems, was among the final six
additions who completed the Wallabies' 31-strong squad along with Hugh
McMeniman, Digby Ioane, Pat McCabe, Peter Kimlin and Scott Sio.
versatility at fullback and flyhalf won his place ahead of Quade
Cooper, who was omitted from coach Robbie Deans' initial, 25-man squad
and failed to win his place back in the Reds' 22-12 loss to the Lions on
Four uncapped players were named in the squad to take
on the Lions, a combined British and Irish side which tours once every
four years, in three Tests in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney on June 22,
June 29 and July 6.
Deans said he had no concerns about Beale's
physical state or mental well-being ahead of the high-pressure series,
despite his limited on-field preparation as he has attended to his
While counselling for alcohol-related issues
is continuing, Deans said he did not believe it would be a distraction
for either Beale or the team.
Deans has been closely involved with
the player through the counselling process and said he does not believe
it is too soon for Beale to return to the national team set-up.
know what Kurtley is capable of in this arena. He showed that as
recently as last year's European tour when he performed outstandingly
and led the team from flyhalf in adverse circumstances against many of
the opposition players we now face again," Deans said.
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
"His physical state is a testament, both to how hard he has worked, but also his desire to get started again."
selection followed Deans's decision on Sunday not to call up mercurial
playmaker Cooper among his final six squad choices.
Rebels scrum-half Luke Burgess, who recently returned home from French
club rugby, and Queensland Reds hooker James Hanson will remain with the
squad as training cover ahead of the first Test.
McMeniman proved their fitness for selection during last weekend's
Australian-only Super 15 round, while Beale and Ioane were all involved
in some capacity during last week's preliminary squad training camp in
Kimlin, who has been a mainstay for the ACT Brumbies this
season, gained his call-up four years after playing the only two Tests
of his career against Italy in 2009.
Uncapped Brumbies prop Scott
Sio, in his first full Super Rugby season with the Australian conference
winners, was the surprise inclusion among the six final picks. The
powerful 21-year-old is the son of former Samoan prop Tevita Sio.
who watched the Brumbies play the Melbourne Rebels as well as the Reds
versus the Lions last week, said the final squad selection had been
further complicated by injuries to Brumbies scrumhalf Nic White and prop
Ioane's attendance at last week's training camp
allowed medical staff to assess the progress on the rehabilitation of
his right knee following surgery, clearing the way for his involvement.
said the selection of McMeniman boosted the forward pack after the loss
of the injured hard men Sitaleki Timani and Scott Higginbotham.
Adam Ashley-Cooper, Berrick Barnes, Kurtley Beale, Nick
Cummins, Israel Folau, Will Genia, Rob Horne, Digby Ioane, Christian
Leali'ifano, Pat McCabe, James O'Connor, Nick Phipps, Joe Tomane
Ben Alexander, Dave Dennis, Kane Douglas, Saia Fainga'a, Liam Gill,
Michael Hooper, James Horwill (captain), Sekope Kepu, Peter Kimlin, Ben
McCalman, Hugh McMeniman, Stephen Moore, Ben Mowen, Wycliff Palu, Benn
Robinson, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, James Slipper