Wallabies draft in fresh faces
October 14, 2010
Lachie Turner and his Commonwealth Games team-mates made an impression on Robbie Deans © Getty Images
Seven uncapped players and four of Australia's Commonwealth Games silver medal-winning Sevens side headline Robbie Deans' 36-man Wallabies squad for the end-of-year tour.
Wallabies and Sevens winger Lachie Turner is joined by uncapped Delhi team-mates Pat McCutcheon, the Sevens captain, versatile back Luke Morahan and the Wallabies squad bolter, Nick Phipps.
The other four uncapped players are 34-year-old Queensland Reds lock Van Humphries, who will become the oldest Wallabies debutant if he features in a Test, Reds winger Rod Davies, Reds loose forward Scott Higginbotham and Brumbies back Pat McCabe.
Higginbotham and McCabe were in Australia's Tri-Nations squad but failed to feature in a match. Flying winger Davies probably would have donned the green and gold by now if it hadn't been for a torn hamstring suffered at the end of the Super 14 season.
Humphries and veteran lock Nathan Sharpe are the only two players over 30 as Deans' youth policy starts to pay dividends a year out from the World Cup in New Zealand.
Despite its youthful appearance, it's not a squad lacking experience, as even McCutcheon, 23, appeared for the Australian Barbarians against England earlier this year. Morahan featured in midweek on last year's European tour.
Only Phipps, as yet uncapped in Super Rugby, is a complete surprise inclusion as the third scrum-half behind Will Genia and Luke Burgess. Phipps, who featured in Sydney Uni's Shute Shield championship this year, has signed with the Melbourne Rebels for next season and becomes the first ever Rebels presence in a Wallabies squad.
Brumbies second rower Mark Chisholm is included after making a remarkable recovery from an injured knee sustained in club rugby last month. Prop Ben Alexander is also back from an enforced layoff, having not featured since Australia's 49-3 win over Fiji at Canberra in June due to a knee injury.
Alexander is one of just 18 players out of the 35 who featured on the 2008 Spring Tour, that are involved again this time.
The 36-man squad will be trimmed to 30 after the Wallabies complete their midweek schedule in Europe, which features clashes with Leicester and Munster, before taking on Italy and France in their fourth and fifth tests having played New Zealand, Wales and England to that point.
Ben Alexander, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Berrick Barnes, Kurtley Beale, Richard Brown, Luke Burgess, Mark Chisholm, Quade Cooper, Rod Davies, Ben Daley, Huia Edmonds, Rocky Elsom (c), Anthony Faingaa, Saia Faingaa, Will Genia, Matt Giteau, Scott Higginbotham, Matt Hodgson, Peter Hynes, Van Humphries, Salesi Ma'afu, Pat McCabe, Ben McCalman, Pat McCutcheon, Drew Mitchell, Stephen Moore, Luke Morahan, Dean Mumm, James O'Connor, Nick Phipps, David Pocock, Benn Robinson, Nathan Sharpe, Rob Simmons, James Slipper, Lachie Turner
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