Sydney - Injury-hit
former captain David Pocock was on Friday included in the Wallabies squad
to face the All Blacks next week in a major boost for Australia as the
Rugby World Cup looms.
The acclaimed flanker struggled with a calf injury all season,
restricting him to just 138 minutes for the Brumbies in Super Rugby
and ruling him out of the first two Rugby Championship games.
Pocock also suffered neck and concussion problems, but has recovered
sufficiently to make the 36-man squad for the first Bledisloe Cup Test
in Perth on August 10.
Scrumhalf Nick Phipps, back-rower Jack Dempsey and wing Jack
Maddocks were notable omissions, with teenager Jordan Petaia a surprise
The exciting 19-year-old outside back was due to make his Test debut
against Italy last year but withdrew after suffering a foot injury in
He missed most of the Super Rugby season, and Wallabies coach Michael
Cheika said he was happy to see him in contention once again.
"Squad decisions are getting harder and harder to make. So many lads
are putting their hands up at training and at club rugby around the
country, and each one of them is pushing the other to get better each
day," he said.
"It's great to see Jordan back. He's had a few games of club rugby
under his belt now so we'll look to integrate him this week in Perth and
give him time to settle in."
The Wallabies head into the match on the back of a
confidence-boosting 16-10 win against Argentina in Brisbane last
Saturday, following a disappointing 35-17 loss to South Africa.
"We were pleased to get the win against Argentina and we felt we
built on some things from the previous game against South Africa and now
we'll be looking to build on that," said Cheika.
"There's strong belief in the group and it's showing itself in how
hard they're training and how committed they are to doing whatever they
need to do to achieve our goals."
Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Folau Fainga'a, Michael Hooper (captain), Luke Jones, Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Isi Naisarani, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Izack Rodda, Rob Simmons, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Taniela Tupou, Jordan Uelese, Rob Valetini, Liam Wright
Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tom Banks, Kurtley Beale, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, James O'Connor, Jordan Petaia, Joe Powell, Matt Toomua, Nic White