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Horwill back in Wallabies squad, Robinson recalled

September 17, 2013

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Skipper James Horwill returns from injury and veteran prop Benn Robinson has been recalled for the first time in the 2013 Rugby Championship to a 28-man squad for Australia’s matches in South Africa and Argentina.

Horwill, who missed two tests with a left hamstring strain, will add size and experience to the second row in what should be two forward-oriented matches. Robinson has been recalled as the Wallabies continue to work on the scrum which has been a problem this season. The Australians ended a four-match losing streak last weekend with a 14-13 win over Argentina in Perth. Home and away losses to the All Blacks and a first loss in 42 years to the Springboks in Brisbane followed a 2-1 series defeat to the British and Irish Lions.

Uncapped Queensland Reds pair Albert Anae, who can cover prop and hooker, and winger Chris Feuai-Sautia were included in the squad, while loosehead Scott Sio and flanker Liam Gill were dropped. Fullback Jesse Mogg (shoulder) and winger Nick Cummins (hand) were ruled out due to injuries.

Ewen McKenzie, who got his first win in four tests as Wallabies coach on the weekend, said the return of Robinson, with 59 test caps, and Horwill will help stabilize the set piece.

“The scrums have been inconsistent across all the tests so far and we are now about to embark on a tough two-game road tour,” McKenzie said. “We want to improve this area of our game, and when you combine the tests played between Benn and James, we are bringing in another 99 games of experience up front.”

The Australians will play South Africa at Cape Town on Sept. 29 before traveling to Argentina. Undefeated New Zealand leads the competition followed by South Africa, which won its opening three games before the defeat last weekend to the All Blacks.

Australia Squad:

Backs: Nic White, Will Genia, Quade Cooper, Matt Toomua, Bernard Foley, Christian Lealiifano, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Joe Tomane, Chris Feauai-Sautia, James O’Connor, Israel Folau.

Forwards: James Slipper, Benn Robinson, Sekope Kepu, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, Saia Fainga’a, Albert Anae, James Horwill, Rob Simmons, Kane Douglas, Sitaleki Timani, Ben McCalman, Scott Fardy, Michael Hooper, Ben Mowen, Dave Dennis.

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