Rennie rings changes in first Australia squad

The 2020 Rugby Championship runs from November 7 to December 12, although Rugby World Cup winners South Africa have not yet confirmed if they will take part

Last Updated: 13/09/20 9:51am

Wallabies flanker Michael Hooper is in the 44-man squad but has not been confirmed as captain
Wallabies flanker Michael Hooper is in the 44-man squad but has not been confirmed as captain

New Australia coach Dave Rennie has started his rebuild for the 2023 Rugby World Cup by naming 16 uncapped players in his first squad for Bledisloe Cup Tests against New Zealand and the Rugby Championship later this year.

Rennie did not name a captain, although Michael Hooper, who has led the side 46 times since 2014, was named in the extended 44-man squad.

“We’ve picked this squad on form and on potential and I know the whole group are chomping at the bit to get stuck in and push their case for a Wallaby jersey,” said Rennie.

Australia head coach Dave Rennie will be hoping his side can win the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 2003
Australia head coach Dave Rennie will be hoping his side can win the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 2003

“When we picked the squad, we had to consider how we will handle the rigours of the Test calendar ahead.

“It is obviously a big squad which is due to COVID restrictions, as we can’t bring players in and out, but each of one them is there on merit.”

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Matt Toomua, Jordan Petaia, Dane Haylett-Petty and Jordan Uelese, who all suffered injuries in Saturday’s Super Rugby AU elimination final, were named in the squad.

The Wallabies have struggled since they made the 2015 World Cup final, dropping to seventh in the World Rugby rankings, and were knocked out in the quarter-finals by England at last year’s World Cup in Japan.

They also have not held the Bledisloe Cup, the symbol of trans-Tasman supremacy with New Zealand, since 2003.

The sides are due to face each other on September 7 and again a week later.

Australia’s 44-Man Squad

Jermaine Ainsley, Allan Alaalatoa, Tom Banks, Angus Bell, Filipo Daugunu, Pone Fa’amausili, Folau Fainga’a, Jake Gordon, Ned Hanigan, Will Harrison, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Michael Hooper, Tom Horton, Trevor Hosea, Len Ikitau, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Marika Korobiete, Noah Lolesio, Jack Maddocks, Tate McDermott, Fraser McReight, James O’Connor, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Hunter Paisami, Jordan Petaia, Matt Philip, Joe Powell, James Ramm, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Pete Samu, Rob Simmons, Irae Simone, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Lachie Swinton, Matt To’omua, Taniela Tupou, Jordan Uelese, Rob Valetini, Nic White, Harry Wilson, Liam Wright, Tom Wright.

Source : Sky Sports