Gordon set for Wallabies' Africa-Argentina call-up

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

NSW halfback Jake Gordon is set to be named in the Wallabies squad to tour South Africa and Argentina on Friday.

The 25-year-old will replace Canberra halfback Joe Powell in the squad after showing storng form in the NRC

Gordon has been on the fringes of Wallabies squad selection since June 2017 but he is yet to crack a Test matchday 23.

The Waratahs halfback starred for the Country Eagles in their first 2018 win over the Rays and his strong NRC form so far has been rewarded with a spot in the travelling group.

The Eagles had a handful of Wallabies in their team on Wednesday night against the Sydney Rays, with the addition of Ned Hanigan, Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu and Tom Robertson to their side.

That quartet is set to be on the place to Africa this weekend and Gordon's addition will force a fifth change to the team against the Vikings.


“Next week, we lose Jake to the tour whereas Joe Powell is staying back so that's a bit of a flip,” Eagles coach Darren Coleman said.

“So, we lose our best player for the next three weeks for him to probably go and not play over there whereas Canberra get - it's a close call between Joe Powell and Jake - and they keep Joe back and take Jake.

“Next week it'll (Wallabies allocations) work against us, it's just swings and roundabouts.”

Powell has been in every Wallabies squad since June 2017 but has only played four Tests and has limited minutes when he has played, something that has raised the debate about where he is best placed.

When the Wallabies are playing at home, coach Michael Cheika has been quick to release non-playing squad members to NRC teams but that won’t be possible when they are in Africa and Argentina.

The balance between learning in a national squad and racking up regular game time is a delicate one but Coleman said the Wallabies always had to come first. 

“You've always got to support the national team, so whatever the national coach thinks is best,” he said.

“I can't comment because I've never been in his position but I imagine you've got to take three halfbacks and three hookers.

“It's great for Jake that he gets a shot and good for Canberra that Joe's back.”

Gordon is unlikely to be the only change for the Wallabies squad when they leave for Africa on Saturday.

Lukhan Tui is still set to sit out at least the South Africa-Argentina tour to support his family after the death of his stepfather and backrower Pete Samu is sunder an injury cloud.

Kepu and wife, Anna, are also awaiting the birth of their fourth child, due on Thursday.

The Wallabies travel to South Africa on Saturday.

Australia takes on South Africa on Saturday September 29, kicking off on Sunday 1:05am AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS.

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