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Genia returns to Wallaby Rugby Championship squad

September 17, 2014

SYDNEY (AP) — Scrumhalf and former captain Will Genia has been recalled to an Australian squad for the last two rounds of the Rugby Championship that will be without giant young lock Will Skelton.

Genia and veteran prop Benn Robinson have been included in a Wallabies squad for the first time this season as head coach Ewen McKenzie copes with a long list of injuries. As many as 13 players were unavailable for selection and McKenzie is happy to have been able to call on the experience of Genia and Robinson as Australia faces tough away tests against Argentina and South Africa.

Another former captain, James Horwill, has been named as one of only three locks in the touring party, taking his place alongside Sam Carter and Rob Simmons at Skelton’s expense.

Genia recently played for Brisbane City in Australia’s National Rugby Championship after recovering from ankle surgery. Robinson was overlooked by McKenzie for the Wallabies’ June test series against France and the first two rounds of the Rugby Championship.

Center Adam Ashley-Cooper returns from a neck injury and will likely play his 98th test against the Springboks in Cape Town on Sept. 27. In total, Ashley-Cooper, Genia and Robinson bring the experience of 218 tests to the Wallabies squad.

“It’s pleasing to be able to bring in some experienced guys for what will be an extremely challenging tour of South Africa and Argentina,” McKenzie said.

“We took a conservative approach with Adam’s injury in our most recent test against Argentina and we’re confident the additional week off will serve him well going into the next stage of our campaign.

Backrower Wycliff Palu has been omitted from the squad because of concussion concerns and winger Peter Betham will remain at home to continue his recovery from a foot injury.

The loss to injury of hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau leaves Fainga’a and ACT Brumbies rake Josh Mann-Rae to compete for the bench place behind James Hanson.

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Australia squad: Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Rob Horne, Joe Tomane, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Leali’ifano, Matt Toomua, Kurtley

Beale, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Nic White, Will Genia. Ben McCalman, Scott Higginbotham, Michael Hooper (captain), Matt Hodgson, Scott Fardy, Rob Simmons, Sam Carter, James Horwill, Sekope Kepu, Ben Alexander, James Slipper, Pek Cowan, Benn Robinson, James Hanson, Saia Fainga’a, Josh Mann-Rae.

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