Uncapped five in Aussie squad

2014-10-22 07:20
Michael Hooper (Getty)

Sydney - New Wallabies coach Michael Cheika included five debutants in his first squad unveiled on Wednesday for the November Tests in England, France, Ireland and Wales.

The 33-man Australia squad, led by 22-year-old Michael Hooper, includes three changes to the group that lost 29-28 to the All Blacks last Saturday.

The tour sees the return of injured duo Matt Toomua and Ben McCalman and the inclusion of uncapped Melbourne Rebels back-row forward Sean McMahon.

He is one of five uncapped players alongside Western Force pair Tetera Faulkner (prop) and Kyle Godwin (centre), and wingers Henry Speight (Brumbies) and Tom English (Rebels).

The Wallabies are due to fly to Europe on Friday for a five-match tour, which kicks off against the Barbarians at Twickenham on November 1.

Cheika, who will remain coach of the Waratahs, vowed to bring his passion to the Wallabies following the shock resignation of Ewen McKenzie on Saturday.

But he said he did not want to discuss the future of his Waratahs star Kurtley Beale, who has been stood down pending a hearing on Friday in the latest in a series of off-field troubles which ultimately led to McKenzie's walkout.

"I won't be answering any questions on that today... I don't want to prejudice anything that's going to happen with Kurtley in any way," said Cheika.

With Cheika's appointment, the Australian Rugby Union also brought in Waratahs defence coach Nathan Grey.

He will be part of a three-man coaching line-up for the tour alongside Cheika and existing forwards coach Andrew Blades.

A year before the World Cup, the tour under a new coach offers Australia a fresh start after successive defeats to South Africa, Argentina and the All Blacks.


Forwards: Ben Alexander, Ben McCalman, Tetera Faulkner, Sekope Kepu, Benn Robinson, James Slipper, Saia Fainga'a, James Hanson, Josh Mann-Rea, Sam Carter, James Horwill, Sean McMahon, Rob Simmons, Will Skelton, Scott Higginbotham, Matt Hodgson, Michael Hooper (capt), Luke Jones

Backs: Will Genia, Nick Phipps, Nic White, Quade Cooper, Bernard Foley, Kyle Godwin, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Leali'ifano, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tom English, Israel Folau, Rob Horne, Henry Speight, Joe Tomane, Matt Toomua.

Read more on:    wallabies  |  michael hooper  |  rugby

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