2 uncapped locks named for Wallabies for Japan, Europe
SYDNEY (AP) — Uncapped locks Matt Philip and Blake Enever were among some surprise selections in Australia’s 32-man squad named Sunday for its rugby union tour of Japan and Britain.
A knee injury to Rory Arnold prompted coach Michael Cheika to call up Philip and Enever after they both impressed for their teams in the National Rugby Championship.
The backline also includes two uncapped players in center Billy Meakes and outside back Izaia Perese, who have both been with the Wallabies’ squad this year but have not played a test.
Injuries also ruled flanker Jack Dempsey (hamstring) and prop Jerome Ainsley (ankle) out of the tour while there was no place for out-of-favor flyhalf Quade Cooper, the veteran of two World Cup campaigns, with center Kurtley Beale expected to provide cover at No. 10, if needed.
The Wallabies depart for Yokohama on Tuesday ahead of their first test match on Japanese soil.
The tour also includes tests against Wales, England and Scotland.
“We’ll be looking to pick our best side for every test of the tour,” Cheika said. “These are important matches and we want to be building a consistent, winning mindset and that’s something we want to pass on to next year’s team.”
Australia squad: Forwards: Allan Alaalatoa, Adam Coleman, Blake Enever, Tetera Faulkner, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper (captain), Sekope Kepu, Ben McCalman, Sean McMahon, Stephen Moore, Matt Philip, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Lopeti Timani, Lukhan Tui, Jordan Uelese; Backs: Kurtley Beale, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Reece Hodge, Karmichael Hunt, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Tevita Kuridrani, Billy Meakes, Izaia Perese, Nick Phipps, Joe Powell, Curtis Rona, Henry Speight.