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Thread: Michael Cheika names seven new faces in exciting Wallabies squad for Bledisloe opener

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    Michael Cheika names seven new faces in exciting Wallabies squad for Bledisloe opener

    WALLABIES coach Michael Cheika has named an exciting squad for the upcoming Bledisloe Cup, which features a healthy mix of experience and seven uncapped players.

    Rugby league converts Curtis Rona and Marika Koroibete have also been included.

    Western Force centre Billy Meakes has been named in his first official Wallabies squad, as has Melbourne Rebels rake Jordan Uelese.

    The Wallabies haven’t held the Bledisloe Cup since 2002 and their last victory over the All Blacks was in Sydney in 2015.

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    After NSW Waratahs flanker Michael Hooper was named captain on Wednesday, Cheika has also named experienced halves Will Genia and Bernard Foley as his two vice-captains.

    “I really love this Wallabies team, and love any chance I get to wear the gold jersey but to be named vice-captain really is an honour,” Genia said.

    “I want to thank Cheik (Cheika) for putting that trust in me — and I will be doing everything in my power to support Hoops (Hooper) in whatever way possible alongside Bernard.”

    Foley added: “It’s a huge personal honour to be vice-captain of this team and I am looking forward to working with all the leaders in this team to ensure the Wallabies elevate to the best we possibly can be.

    “Hoops (Hooper) is a remarkable leader, and I believe with the other leaders in the team we can compliment his style and assist him in that responsibility.”

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    Hooper to captain WallabiesHooper to captain Wallabies2:10

    Uncapped Reds trio Izack Rodda, Adam Korczyk and Izaia Perese will also press for selection in Cheika’s matchday 23, with the squad to assemble in Cessnock, New South Wales on Sunday.

    Cheika has also recalled experienced locks Rob Simmons and Kane Douglas, after the Reds duo missed out on selection in June.

    But the news isn’t as good for Brumbies co-captain Sam Carter, who along with Force back-rower Richard Hardwick, has been dumped from the squad after featuring heavily throughout the June Tests.

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    Japanese-bound Sean McMahon and Waratahs half-back Nick Phipps also return to the squad after missing June’s three Tests due to injuries.

    While playmaker Kurtley Beale headlines the squad after returning from a season with Wasps in the English Premiership.

    Force prop Tetera Faulkner also returns for the first time since 2014 after impressing throughout Super Rugby.

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    Force outside centre/winger Curtis Rona has been named in his first Wallabies squad.
    Force outside centre/winger Curtis Rona has been named in his first Wallabies squad.Source: Getty Images
    An injury to Rebels winger Sefa Naivalu, who scored twice against Italy in June before leaving the field because of an ankle injury, opens up a spot for Koroibete and Rona.

    Henry Speight and Dane Haylett-Petty are the favourites for the wing positions, but the finishing ability of Koroibete and Rona, who can also play outside centre, will likely see them compete for the No 23 jersey.

    Karmichael Hunt’s ankle injury has also paved the way for Meakes to be included in the squad, with the Wallabies lacking depth at inside centre.

    Rebels rookie Uelese has been included as the third hooker in the squad after Waratahs rake Tolu Latu was ruled out with a neck injury.

    Jordan Uelese has been named in the Wallabies squad despite playing just 28 minutes of Super Rugby.
    Jordan Uelese has been named in the Wallabies squad despite playing just 28 minutes of Super Rugby.Source: Getty Images
    Wallabies 34-man squad for Bledisloe Cup:

    Forwards: Allan Alaalatoa (12 Tests), Rory Arnold (12 Tests), Adam Coleman (12 Tests), Jack Dempsey (1 Test), Kane Douglas (31 Tests), Tetera Faulkner (2 Tests), Ned Hanigan (3 Tests), Michael Hooper, (c), (68 Tests), Sekope Kepu (80 Tests), Adam Korczyk*, Sean McMahon (15 Tests), Stephen Moore (120 Tests), Tatafu Polota-Nau (71 Tests), Tom Robertson (9 Tests), Izack Rodda*, Rob Simmons (71 Tests), Scott Sio (32 Tests), Lopeti Timani (7 Tests), Jordan Uelese*

    Backs: Kurtley Beale (60 Tests), Israel Folau (55 Tests), Bernard Foley, (vc), (45 Tests), Will Genia, (vc), (78 Tests), Dane Haylett-Petty (17 Tests), Reece Hodge (13 Tests), Samu Kerevi (8 Tests), Marika Koroibete*, Tevita Kuridrani (47 Tests), Billy Meakes*, Izaia Perese*, Nick Phipps (52 Tests), Joe Powell (2 Tests), Curtis Rona*, Henry Speight (12 Tests)

    Players currently unavailable due to injury:

    Kyle Godwin (knee), Karmichael Hunt (ankle), Tolu Latu (neck), Eto Nabuli (knee), James Slipper (Achilles), Lukhan Tui (knee), Sefa Naivalu (ankle), Jake Gordon (ankle)

    https://www.foxsports.com.au/rugby/m...5faff5a66cc595

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    Veteran Sheikh's Avatar
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    So of the Force guys selected to the training camp, Ainsley, Cowan and Hardwick haven't made the cut.

    That's actually better than I thought, although quite why Dempsey, Hanigan or Korczyk have been preferred over Hardwick is a head-scratcher.

    I'm not even vaguely surprised that Robertson has been preferred over either Ainsley or Cowan. Slightly more surprised that Faulkner made it, as I think he's started fewer games than either Ainsley or Cowan for us this year.

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    Champion Contributor sandgroperrugby's Avatar
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    Well done Billy, Curtis, Adam, Tets, Tats and Dane.

    Not sure what else Pek could have done to beat Tom Robertson out apart from wearing a paler shade of blue.

    And Dickie missing out with McMahon in who is pissing off to Japan WTF?

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandgroperrugby View Post
    Well done Billy, Curtis, Adam, Tet,.....

    And Dickie missing out with McMahon in who is pissing off to Japan WTF?
    Strange one. Cheika does like to play mind games, though. Might see him back before too long after killing it in the NRC.

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    Gotta assume Hardwick will get a call up if there is an injury. Or for the Spring tour.

    Am worried about only having one recognised flyhalf in the squad too. I mean i know Beale can do it, Hodge too at a pinch. but another dedicated 10 in the squad for depth and position competition never hurt anyone IMO

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    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    Obvs, the Force quota for the final squad was a maximum of 6. 🙄

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    Consistency grasshopper

    Fardy departing to Nippon - don't let the door hit you on the arse Scotty
    McMahon departing to Nippon - heres a Wallaby spot Sean, enjoy...oh and Dick you can fuck off back to Perth

    See, consistency

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    Champion sittingbison's Avatar
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    No no no... apparently there is only a single aussie fly half in super, all the rest are kiwi and Safra imports - I read it in the smh so must be true

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    Congrats to our Force reps.

    Brickbats to the selectors fo picking Dempsey, Douglas, Hanigan, Simmons, Korczyk and Phipps.

    Coleman, Arnold and Rodda will be the backbone of the Wallabies pack going forward, need to surround them with more forwards who have that natural mongrel in them. RHP is very unlucky i think, considering the planks selected before him.

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    Douglas and Simmons can't make the reds squad yet are in the Wallabies squad. I would have Phillip and Arnold over both of them.

    Robertson gets in despite being demolished by the Force scrum.

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    Champion chibi's Avatar
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    Aside from the fact that they play outside of Australia, if the selection eligibility was open to all Australians in Super Rugby, what are the opinions of the forum on the performances of Sam Wykes, Ed Quirk, Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, Will Tupou and Michael Alaalatoa this season? Would any of them be in contention for Wallaby selection?

    Speaking of overseas-based players, is Guy Millar playing in the NRC?

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    The blatant stubbornness and favouritism of Cheika - is he related to Trump? I can't wait for the day the Force break the stranglehold the Tahs enjoy in the Wallabies. Worst performing team in leadership as well for nigh on 2 years and 9 included in the team FFS. I hope the ABs are pissing themselves laughing. Social media seems to be exploding in disgust at the selections!

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    Quote Originally Posted by chibi View Post
    Aside from the fact that they play outside of Australia, if the selection eligibility was open to all Australians in Super Rugby, what are the opinions of the forum on the performances of Sam Wykes, Ed Quirk, Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, Will Tupou and Michael Alaalatoa this season? Would any of them be in contention for Wallaby selection?

    Speaking of overseas-based players, is Guy Millar playing in the NRC?
    Guy Millar is playing for Southlands in the N P C and still has a year to run on his Highlanders contract

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    Hooper Captain, Genia and Foley Vice Captains.

    At least I don't have to worry about keeping my Saturday nights free, I can catch up on beauty sleep and peeling of grapes, because the rugby won't be worth watching. As soon as the "Leadership group" was mentioned I lot interest.

    No surprise to see our best fringe options given the arse, if they had been retained and actually played a minute or two, it would be too obvious how far ahead of the "best the team has to offer"

    How does Meakes make the team, he has been quoted as enjoying the breakdown, surely won't take the field.

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    C'mon the

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    Senior Player Macattack's Avatar
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    Billy is there as cover for Hooper (who will be playing most of his time in the centres)

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