Wallabies reinforce backs stocks in new look squad

Sun, 04/09/2016, 08:27 am
Beth Newman
by Beth Newman
Speight back into Wallabies contention. Photo: ARU Media/Stu Walmsley
Speight back into Wallabies contention. Photo: ARU Media/Stu Walmsley

The Wallabies have moved to shore up their outside back stocks, bringing Luke Morahan and Henry Speight into a 33-man squad, announced on Sunday.

The pair are two of five inclusions in the latest squad, for Rugby Championship Tests against South Africa and Argentina, in Brisbane and Perth, along with Kyle Godwin, Rory Arnold and Sefa Naivalu.

Sefa Naivalu becomes eligible for Tests later this month. Photo: Getty ImagesThe five replace injured trio Matt Giteau (ankle), Matt Toomua (concussion) and Rob Horne (shoulder) while Ben McCalman has also been ruled out after continuing to struggle with a scapula injury he suffered in June.

Morahan has been training as part of a wider squad through the Rugby Championship but hasn’t played a Test since June, while Speight comes into the squad after a stint with the Sevens squad, including a trip to Rio.

Kyle Godwin could be in line for a Test debut. Photo: Getty ImagesGodwin trained alongside the Wallabies squad ahead of the June series but hasn’t been an official inclusion since the 2014 Spring Tour.

The 24-year-old has been impressive for the Force this season, though is reportedly set for a move in 2017 to the Brumbies.

Drew Mitchell remains in the squad, despite battling in his recovery from groin surgery, leaving he and Will Genia as the two remaining Europe-based players on the list.

Drew Mitchell is working his way back from injury. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleyArnold returns to the squad after suffering an elbow injury late in the Super Rugby season and showing strong form for the UC Vikings in the opening week of the NRC.

The Brumbies second rower is the only new forward in the mix, with Rob Simmons retained in the wider squad despite being dropped for the Wellington Bledisloe Test.

Arnold’s return to the group will put heat on the incumbents, showing promise in the June Series against England and gaining match fitness in the NRC.

Rory Arnold showed some grit in June. Photo: Getty ImagesNaivalu has been included in the squad,  though he doesn’t become eligible for Wallabies selection until September 18, the day after the Perth Test.

Lopeti Timani, Tom Robertson, Naivalu, and Godwin are the only uncapped players in the squad ahead of the next block of Tests.

Wallabies squad for South Africa and Argentina inbound Tests

Ins: Rory Arnold, Kyle Godwin, Luke Morahan, Sefa Naivalu, Henry Speight

Outs: Adam Ashley-Cooper (France), Matt GIteau (ankle), Rob Horne (shoulder), Ben McCalman (shoulder), Matt Toomua (concussion).

Full 33-man 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, Luke Morahan, Dean Mumm, Sefa Naivalu, Nick Phipps, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Will Skelton, James Slipper, Henry Speight, Lopeti Timani

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