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Thread: Wallabies pack few surprises into World Cup squad, Petaia in contention for debut

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    Wallabies pack few surprises into World Cup squad, Petaia in contention for debut

    Today at 9:21 AM Rugby World Cup
    by Beth Newman


    The Wallabies have packed few surprises into their Rugby World Cup squad announced on Friday morning, just under a month out from the tournament.

    Queensland rookie Jordan Petaia is the only bolter in the squad and the only candidate to make his debut in a fairly experienced group.

    Even he could be considered an expected addition, given his standing among many pundits and the form he showed even in limited Super Rugby showings this season.

    Petaia missed most of the Super Rugby season with a Lisfranc injury and has played just 70 minutes in club rugby on his return but his potential is so high that he demanded to be included on the plane to Japan.

    Of the 31-man squad, 18 will be featuring in their first Rugby World Cup campaign while 13 have been there at least once before.

    Wallabies coach Michael Cheika will take three specialist hookers in Folau Fainga’a, Tolu Latu and Jordan Uelese, opting to leave Tatafu Polota-Nau behind.

    In the forwards, there is no Will Skelton despite speculation as late as Tuesday that the door was still open for the mammoth lock to return to the Wallabies fold.

    Luke Jones has been squeezed out of the mix in the final World Cup cull, with Izack Rodda, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman and Rob Simmons the second row contingent.

    Jack Dempsey has been included in the squad despite suffering a shoulder injury in club rugby that has him under a cloud.
    No. 7 David Pocock will also fly to Japan, despite missing more than six months of rugby with a niggling calf injury.

    Cheika said this week he expected Pocock to come back in their final pre-World Cup Test against Samoa next weekend but even if he doesn’t, the superstar never looked like missing out on the final 31.

    While Cheika has taken the cautious route with his hookers, he has opted to take the risk of picking just two halfbacks for the tournament for the second campaign in a row.

    In 2015 Cheika had the option of Matt Giteau at a pinch, backing up Will Genia and Nick Phipps, but this year there are no clear no. 9s outside of the duo of Genia and White.

    Should one be struck down with injury, the Wallabies would have to replace them permanently in the squad and would be unable to field that replacement for a full 48 hours after the change.

    James O'Connor has continued a remarkable return to the Test fold with his selection in the group, eight years after his last World Cup appearance.

    The back who might feel the unluckiest to miss out might be Brumbies fullback Tom Banks, who has been in and out of the Test 23 so far this winter.

    Banks was the form fullback in Australia’s Super Rugby sides but with the ability to play just one position, he has been pipped by utilities Adam Ashley-Cooper, Reece Hodge and fullback-winger Dane Haylett-Petty.

    Ashley-Cooper will become just the second Wallaby behind George Gregan to play in a fourth consecutive Rugby World Cup, despite having played limited minutes in the Rugby Championship.

    The flyhalf trio of Christian Lealiifano, Bernard Foley and Matt To’omua have all been named in the 31.
    Australia will fly to Noumea on Friday night for a 10-day camp before returning to Sydney to face Samoa at Bankwest Stadium in Parramatta on Saturday September 7.

    Jones, Banks, Polota-Nau, Liam Wright and Joe Powell will all be part of the extended squad until the group leaves for Japan on Sunday September 8.

    The Wallabies open their Rugby World Cup campaign against Fiji on Saturday September 21 at the Sapporo Dome, kicking off at 2:45pm AEST

    SQUAD

    Forwards
    Allan Alaalatoa (34 Tests, Brumbies, 25)*
    Rory Arnold (22 Tests , Brumbies, 29)*
    Adam Coleman (33 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 28)*
    Jack Dempsey (11 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 25)*
    Folau Fainga’a (11 Tests, Brumbies, 24)*
    Michael Hooper (c) (95 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 27)
    Sekope Kepu (105 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 33)
    Tolu Latu (15 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 26)*
    Isi Naisarani (4 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 24)*
    David Pocock (77 Tests, Brumbies, 31)
    Izack Rodda (21 Tests, Queensland Reds, 22)*
    Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (15 Tests, Queensland Reds, 23)*
    Rob Simmons (97 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 30)
    Scott Sio (58 Tests, Brumbies, 27)
    James Slipper (90 Tests, Brumbies, 30)
    Taniela Tupou (15 Tests, Queensland Reds, 23)*
    Jordan Uelese (3 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 22)*

    Backs
    Adam Ashley-Cooper (118 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 35)
    Kurtley Beale (87 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 30)
    Bernard Foley (69 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)
    Will Genia (104 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 31)
    Dane Haylett-Petty (32 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 30)*
    Reece Hodge (37 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 24)*
    Samu Kerevi (29 Tests, Queensland Reds, 25)*
    Marika Koroibete (23 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 27)*
    Tevita Kuridrani (60 Tests, Brumbies, 28)
    Christian Lealiifano (22 Tests, Brumbies, 31)*
    James O’Connor (47 Tests, Queensland Reds, 29)
    Jordan Petaia (uncapped, Queensland Reds, 19)*
    Matt To’omua (46 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 29)
    Nic White (26 Tests, Rugby Australia, 29)*
    *Uncapped at a Rugby World Cup

    SCHEDULE

    All times AEST/AEDT
    Australia vs Fiji, Sapporo Dome, Sapporo, Saturday September 21, 2.45pm
    Australia vs Wales, Ajinomoto Stadium, Tokyo, Sunday September 29, 5.45pm
    Australia vs Uruguay, Oita Bank Dome, Oita, Saturday October 5, 3.15pm
    Australia vs Georgia, Shizuoka Stadium, Shizuoka, Friday October 11, 9.15pm

    https://www.rugby.com.au/news/2019/0...d-announcement

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    Last edited by The InnFORCEr; 23-08-19 at 07:58.
    80 Minutes, 15 Positions, No Protection, Wanna Ruck?

    Ruck Me, Maul Me, Make Me Scrum!

    Education is Important, but Rugby is Importanter!

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    No NRC Force game clashes, but the first two matches could be very big days

    Australia vs Fiji, Sapporo Dome, Sapporo, Saturday September 21, 12.45pm WST
    Followed by Force v Canberra, UWA, 3.00pm

    Australia vs Wales, Ajinomoto Stadium, Tokyo, Sunday September 29, 3.45pm WST
    Preceded by Force v NSW Country, Port Macquarie, 1.00pm WST

    Australia vs Uruguay, Oita Bank Dome, Oita, Saturday October 5, 1.15pm WST
    Next day Sunday October 6, Force v Brisbane, UWA, 3.00pm

    Australia vs Georgia, Shizuoka Stadium, Shizuoka, Friday October 11, 7.15pm WST
    Next day Saturday October 12, Force v Sydney, Woollahra, 10.00am WST

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    80 Minutes, 15 Positions, No Protection, Wanna Ruck?

    Ruck Me, Maul Me, Make Me Scrum!

    Education is Important, but Rugby is Importanter!

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    Go anybody but the wallabies

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    C'mon the

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    Veteran chibi's Avatar
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    The games against Uruguay and Georgia are in rather large venues for such fixtures. Reckon these types of games would be better off at Hanazono or some other more traditional rugby ground. Then again, they might be getting huge ticket sales and making a fool out of me.

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    Japan and the Pacific Islands for Aussie Super 9's!

    Let's have one of these in WA! Click this link: Saitama Super Arena - New Perth Stadium?

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