WALLABIES COACH Robbie Deans has named seven new caps in his preliminary Tri Nations squad.
He has also recalled three players to the national team ahead of the southern hemisphere tournament.
The uncapped players are Waratahs lock Sitaleki Timani and lock/loose forward Dave Dennis, Melbourne Rebels halfback Nick Phipps, wings Rod Davies and Luke Morahan, flanker Beau Robinson and back-up hooker James Hansen from the Queensland Reds.
Davies, Morahan and Phipps toured with the Wallabies last year, while Dennis played two mid-week games on the 2009 end of year tour.
Timani, who is also eligible to play for Tonga, has been included despite signing with a Japanese club for next season.
Waratahs lock Dan Vickerman, Reds loose forward/lock Radike Samo and Melbourne Rebels outside back Mark Gerrard have also been recalled.
Thirty-five-year-old Samo, who last night helped the Reds win the Super Rugby final against the Crusaders, last played for the Wallabies in 2004.
“His performances speak for themselves,” says Deans
“Seven years after he first played test matches, he has got into good shape physically and has shown that he still has an appetite for rugby at this level.”
Berrick Barnes and Drew Mitchell were not considered for selection due to the uncertain timelines surrounding their recovery from injury.
Tatafu Polota-Nau (knee), Wycliff Palu (shoulder), James Slipper (ankle) and Luke Burgess (hand) have all been included in the squad despite still being about a month away from returning from injury.
Deans will give all his injured players time to recover ahead of naming his 30-man World Cup squad on August 18.
“In terms of the players who are currently on the sidelines, we won't be rushing any of them," he says.
"But we need to get them all started, in terms of being exposed to all of the detail, as part of our preparation.
“That's one of the reasons why we have opted for an enlarged squad at this point.
“The expansion of Super Rugby and this year's Rugby World Cup has condensed the schedule significantly which has placed an even greater importance on making sure that we have covered all selection-related eventualities, as there isn't a lot of time between matches."
"To that end, we want the guys to be playing so, as we have done in previous years, we will be looking to have as many of the players playing as is possible by releasing them to their clubs where we can."
The Wallabies start their international campaign against Samoa on Sunday and then open the Tri Nations against South Africa, also at ANZ Stadium, on 23 July.
Forwards: Ben Alexander, Ben Daley, Dave Dennis, Rocky Elsom (captain), Saia Faingaa, James Hanson, Scott Higginbotham, Matt Hodgson, James Horwill, Sekope Kepu, Salesi Ma’afu, Ben McCalman, Stephen Moore, Dean Mumm, Wycliff Palu, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Beau Robinson, Benn Robinson, Radike Samo, Nathan Sharpe, Rob Simmons, James Slipper, Sitaleki Timani, Dan Vickerman.
Backs: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Kurtley Beale, Luke Burgess, Quade Cooper, Rod Davies, Anthony Faingaa, Will Genia, Mark Gerrard, Matt Giteau, Digby Ioane, Pat McCabe, Luke Morahan, James O'Connor, Nick Phipps, Lachie Turner« Back to Articles
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