Australia v England: Wallabies squad has six uncapped players for Test series

Australia v England: Wallabies squad has six uncapped players for Test series

Australia v England: Wallabies squad has six uncapped players for Test series

Suliasi Vunivalu of the Queensland Reds scores a try
Suliasi Vunivalu changed codes in 2019

Former rugby league star Suliasi Vunivalu is one of six uncapped players named in Australia’s roster for next month’s three-Test series against England.

Captain Michael Hooper leads the expanded 35-man squad, but veteran utility back Reece Hodge is missing.

Playmaker Kurtley Beale, back on the international scene after returning to Australia after a spell in France, is injured and also missing.

The series kicks off on July 2 in Perth.

Winger Vunivala moved to Queensland Reds in 2019 after a successful competitive career with Melbourne Storm.

“We chose him because of his enormous potential,” said Wallabies coach Dave Rennie.

Melbourne Rebels tighthead prop Pone Fa’amausili, ACT Brumbies locks Nick Frost and Cadeyrn Neville, New South Wales Waratahs lock Jed Holloway and his club teammate, hooker Dave Porecki, are the other uncapped players selected.

Fly-half Quade Cooper and Fiji-born backs Samu Kerevi and Marika Koroibete, who all play in Japan, had previously been announced as the three overseas squads allowed under Rugby Australia rules.

Melbourne Rebels Hodge missed out due to “mixed form,” Rennie explained, while another absentee, in-form Western Force locker Izack Rodda, could be sidelined for up to three months with a foot injury, he added.

Rennie said Waratahs’ Beale would have to be carefully managed due to a hamstring problem so that he would be available for the rugby championship later this year.

Rennie said the series has been the most important of his reign since he took on the role in 2019.

“I would say so,” he said when asked.

“It’s a big series and we’re excited about it. We’ve spent so much time studying it and we know what’s coming and our challenge is to be good enough to handle it and put some pressure on ourselves. “

Eddie Jones’ England has won all eight tests against the Wallabies since the Australian took the lead after the 2015 World Cup.

That includes a 3-0 whitewash on their last Australian tour in 2016.

The first test at Perth Stadium will be followed by tests at Brisbane’s Lang Park and the Sydney Cricket Ground over the next two weekends.

Australia selection

ahead: Dave Porecki, Lachlan Lonergan, Folau Fainga’a, Taniela Tupou, Scott Sio, Allan Alaalatoa, Pone Fa’amausili, James Slipper, Angus Bell, Matt Philip, Jed Holloway, Nick Frost, Cadeyrn Neville, Darcy Swain, Michael Hooper (Captain ), Pete Samu, Harry Wilson, Rob Valetini, Rob Leota

backsNic White, Tate McDermott, Jake Gordon, Quade Cooper, James O’Connor, Noah Lolesio, Samu Kerevi, Hunter Paisami, Izaia Perese, Len Ikitau, Marika Koroibete, Andrew Kellaway, Tom Banks, Suliasi Vunivalu, Tom Wright, Jordan Petaia

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