Qantas Wallabies announce squad for tour of South Africa and Argentina

by Staff Writer

The Qantas Wallabies have announced a 28-man touring squad for the next stage of their 2014 Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship campaign in South Africa and Argentina.

The Wallabies will assemble in Sydney on Friday before flying to South Africa on Monday ahead of matches against the Springboks in Cape Town on Saturday 27 September and Argentina in Mendoza on Saturday 4 October.

Vice-captain Adam Ashley-Cooper has recovered from a nerve compression injury and will return to the squad after missing Australia’s victory over Argentina on the Gold Coast at the weekend.

He will be joined by three further additions in scrumhalf Will Genia, prop Benn Robinson and hooker Saia Fainga’a. All three return as official members of the 28-man squad, after being used as additional training squad players in the lead-up to the Gold Coast Test.

The squad will also see the fairytale story of 33-year-old ACT Brumbies hooker Josh Mann-Rea continue, as he gets another chance to earn his first Test cap with three specialist hookers selected for the two-game tour.

“It’s pleasing to be able to bring in some experienced guys for what will be an extremely challenging tour of South Africa and Argentina,” coach Ewen McKenzie said.

“We took a conservative approach with Adam’s injury in our most recent Test against Argentina, and we’re confident the additional week off will serve him well going into the next stage of our campaign.

“Collectively, we add almost 250 games of Test experience to our squad through the inclusion of Adam, Will, Benn and Saia. They’ve all had good exposure to our program this year, so we expect them to be able to contribute immediately when we get into camp.”

McKenzie said the squad was looking forward to the challenges on tour.

“While pleased to have finished ahead on the scoreboard over the past two weeks, we understand there is still a lot of improvement left in this group and we’ll be working hard to ensure we see that over the next fortnight,” McKenzie said.

“The Springboks and Argentina always lift to another level when they are playing at home and so we are under no illusions as to the challenges which are ahead.

“We’ll look forward to that, and to the opportunity to continue evolving and improving our game over the next period.”

Players who have not been considered for selection due to injury include, but is not limited to, hookers Stephen Moore (knee), Tatafu Polota-Nau (ankle), Nathan Charles (pectoral), Tolu Latu (arm) and Heath Tessman (ankle); prop Scott Sio (ankle); backrowers Wycliff Palu (head), David Pocock (knee) and Dave Dennis (knee); flyhalf Quade Cooper (shoulder); and outside backs Henry Speight (hamstring); Peter Betham (ankle); and Chris Feauai-Sautia (shoulder).

The Qantas Wallabies squad for the next stage of the 2014 Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship is:

Player

State

Age

Test Caps

PROP

Ben Alexander

ACT Brumbies

29

66

Pek Cowan

Western Force

28

10

Sekope Kepu

NSW Waratahs

28

45

Benn Robinson

NSW Waratahs

30

66

James Slipper

Queensland Reds

25

56

HOOKER

Saia Fainga’a

Queensland Reds

27

29

James Hanson

Queensland Reds

26

4

Josh Mann-Rea

ACT Brumbies

33

Uncapped

LOCK

Sam Carter

ACT Brumbies

25

5

James Horwill

Queensland Reds

29

53

Rob Simmons

Queensland Reds

25

44

BACKROW

Scott Fardy

ACT Brumbies

30

17

Scott Higginbotham

Melbourne Rebels

27

28

Matt Hodgson

Western Force

33

8

Michael Hooper (c)

NSW Waratahs

22

35

Ben McCalman

Western Force

26

33

SCRUMHALF

Will Genia

Queensland Reds

26

55

Nick Phipps

NSW Waratahs

25

21

Nic White

ACT Brumbies

24

16

FLYHALF

Kurtley Beale

NSW Waratahs

25

46

Bernard Foley

NSW Waratahs

25

11

CENTRE

Tevita Kuridrani

ACT Brumbies

23

14

Christian Leali'ifano

ACT Brumbies

26

13

Matt Toomua

ACT Brumbies

24

17

BACK-THREE

Adam Ashley-Cooper

NSW Waratahs

30

97

Israel Folau

NSW Waratahs

25

22

Rob Horne

NSW Waratahs

25

20

Joe Tomane

ACT Brumbies

24

9

The remaining Qantas Wallabies schedule for the 2014 Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship is:

Date

Opponent

Venue

Saturday 27 September (Sun 28 Sept. AEST at 1:05am)

South Africa

Newlands Stadium, Cape Town

Saturday 4 October

(Sun 5 Oct. AEST at 9:40am)

Argentina

Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza

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