Wallabies coach Schmidt backing current crop after unveiling fresh squad

Fri, Jun 21, 2024, 3:15 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Joe Schmidt press conference Wallabies Squad announcement

Wallabies coach Joe Schmidt has backed the talent staying in Australia to turn the side's fortunes around after unveiling his first squad as coach.

There were 13 players named without a cap and several more that missed last year's World Cup campaign, headlined by veteran Kurtley Beale.

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Schmidt had stated in the past his intentions not to pick from overseas for the July series and opted against selecting players heading overseas.

"I'd say we were keen to invest in the guys who are investing in the future here," he told reporters.

"...It has a longer-term payoff and in the short term, we'd like to think there's a bit of a payoff there anyway. We like some of those guys we've selected and some of the guys who aren't there.

"There was a real contest for a number of those positions, whether it'd be up front or in the backs. There could still be some movement between now and the Rugby Championship, I don't think we've put a line through anyone.

"We've had discussions with a number of them but they're taking a path, and it's their chosen path and we've decided to take a path. That's not at the exclusion of people. It's at the inclusion of those guys in this immediate future who are invested in Australian Rugby and we're very keen to invest in them."

In his squad, Schmidt has picked a side brimming with hungry players willing to go the distance for their side.

Guys like Hamish Stewart, David Feliuai and Ryan Smith have gritted their way to earn their first Wallabies selection the hard way.

Meanwhile, the likes of Isaac Kailea, Darby Lancaster and Tom Lynagh represent the future as they look towards the British and Irish Lions tour in 2025 and the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

"I'm looking forward to catching up with everyone Sunday night and getting out on the grass on Monday," Schmidt said.

"I've spent five months waiting to do some rugby coaching. So, yeah, I'm sure you guys are sick of talking about it, you want to see something and I hope you're looking forward to seeing something good.

"All I'd say to supporters is that it won't be for lack of effort. Some of these boys have already demonstrated their ability or their capacity for effort, and it's one of the key aspects that we were looking for in our selection."

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