Rugby Championship

Four uncapped players named in Wallabies squad

2016-09-04 14:33
Michael Cheika (Getty Images)

Sydney - Winger Henry Speight and four uncapped players have been included in a 33-man Wallabies squad named by head coach Michael Cheika on Sunday for this month's Rugby Championship home Tests against South Africa and Argentina.

Speight returns after playing a part in Australia's rugby sevens Rio Olympics campaign, while Cheika has named debutants Fijian-born winger Sefa Naivalu, centre Kyle Godwin, lock Lopeti Timani and prop Tom Robertson.

Naivalu will train with the team ahead of becoming eligible on September 18 to play for the Wallabies.

Cheika continues to rebuild his Wallabies squad in the face of six consecutive Test defeats and has already had seven Wallabies debutants this year.

Brumbies lock Rory Arnold has overcome an elbow injury and will join the squad, while Luke Morahan has earned a recall.

Winger Adam Ashley-Cooper has returned to Bordeaux for the new Top 14 season, after playing in his 116th Test in last weekend's defeat by the All Blacks in Wellington.

Fellow French-based stars Drew Mitchell (Toulon) and Will Genia (Stade Francais) will remain with the squad.

The All Blacks claimed the Bledisloe Cup for the 14th straight year with a comprehensive 29-9 win over the Australians last week following their 42-8 romp in Sydney the previous weekend.

Another Test defeat for the Wallabies would equal their previous worst performance in the post-1995 professional era.

The last run of seven losses in 2005 eventually led to the sacking of then-coach Eddie Jones.

Matt Giteau, Matt Toomua, Rob Horne and Ben McCalman were all not considered for the squad because of injury.

The Wallabies continue their Rugby Championship campaign against South Africa in Brisbane on Saturday before taking on Argentina in Perth on September 17.

Australia, who are the holders, are bottom of the four-nation Rugby Championship standings with no points. They have conceded 71 points in their two heavy losses to the world champions.

Wallabies squad

Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Quade Cooper, Kane Douglas, Scott Fardy, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Kyle Godwin, James Hanson, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Michael Hooper, Sekope Kepu, Samu Kerevi, Tevita Kuridrani, Sean McMahon, Drew Mitchell, Stephen Moore (capt), Luke Morahan, Dean Mumm, Sefa Naivalu, Nick Phipps, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Will Skelton, Henry Speight, James Slipper, Lopeti Timani.

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