Rugby Championship

Struggling Wallabies call on fresh faces for SA trip

2018-09-21 09:49
Michael Cheika (AP)

Sydney - The Wallabies named two uncapped players in a 30-man squad on Friday for their must-win Rugby Championship games against South Africa and Argentina as they look to bounce back after slumping to their worst world ranking ever. 

Flank Angus Cottrell and scrumhalf Jake Gordon were the new faces named by coach Michael Cheika, but there was no Lukhan Tui, who requested a break after his stepfather died and his involvement in an ugly spat with a fan last weekend. 

Back-rower Pete Samu also misses the trip due to a knee injury, while hooker Tolu Latu was overlooked in favour of Brandon Paenga-Amosa. 

The Wallabies' alarming slide to seventh in the world followed their shock 23-19 home loss to Argentina on the Gold Coast on Saturday - the Pumas first victory on Australian soil in 35 years. 

It was their fifth defeat in the last six Tests and left them last on the four-team Rugby Championship ladder ahead of clashes against the Springboks in Port Elizabeth on September 29 and Argentina in Salta a week later. 

The under-pressure Cheika blasted his players after the Argentina defeat for their lack of enthusiasm and energy, and knows the time for excuses are over. 

"There's an opportunity presented to us now to get some good victories overseas and that's going to come from consistency in the way that we play," he said. 

"We have got some new additions to the squad and these guys have shown plenty of grit and determination to get an opportunity at a higher level. 

"We're very determined to make sure that we repay the faith and show people what we're about in the way we play."

Wallabies squad:

Forwards

Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Angus Cottrell, Folau Fainga'a, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper (captain), Sekope Kepu, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson, Izack Rodda, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Caleb Timu, Taniela Tupou

Backs

Tom Banks, Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Jake Gordon, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Marika Koroibete, Jack Maddocks, Sefa Naivalu, Nick Phipps, Matt Toomua

 

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