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Eddie Jones confirms ‘world-class’ co-captains in 34-man Wallabies squad

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

The Wallabies have officially ushered in a new era under Eddie Jones, with the legendary coach commenting on a selection bombshell as part of a 34-player squad for the Rugby Championship.

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Veterans Michael Hopper and James Slipper have already created history under Jones, with the “world-class” duo being named the first-ever co-captains of the Wallabies.

Hooper, who has captained the most Test matches in Wallabies history with 68, returns to the leadership role for the first time since stepping away from the game due to personal reasons.

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The 31-year-old will lead the team alongside James Slipper, who is one of the most decorated players in the history of Australian rugby. The Brumbies prop has played the third-most games in Wallaby gold – and counting.

“Michael and James are both world-class players, strong leaders and embody what it means to be a Wallaby,” coach Eddie Jones said in a statement.

“They have worked hard with the leadership group since January, and it will be important they continue to have strong support from the players around them.

“Getting selected in the squad is just the start, we’ve got to build the team now and that will require hard work and getting a little bit more out of everyone involved.”

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The Test centurions will lead a star-studded squad that includes an exciting number of uncapped players – but there have been some headline-grabbing omissions as well.

Noah Lolesio, Darcy Swain, Jake Gordon and Harry Wilson have all been left out, with Jones opting for five overseas-based players in the squad instead.

There’s no room for experienced playmaker Bernard Foley either, with coach Eddie Jones selecting rising star Carter Gordon alongside Quade Cooper.

In total, the Wallabies have named eight uncapped players – including Brumbies halfback Ryan Lonergan and former Australian Sevens ace Dylan Pietsch.

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Bolters Josh Kemeny, Zane Nonggorr, Matt Faessler, Tom Hooper and Richie Arnold will also be looking to make their Test debuts in 2023.

Former Wallabies captain James Horwill was calling for Arnold’s selection on Stan Sport’s Rugby Heaven this week, and the Super Rugby winner got his wish.

Just a week after winning the Top 14 title with Stade Toulouse in a thrilling win over European champions La Rochelle, Arnold has been called up for international honours.

Along with Arnold and Quade Cooper, coach Eddie Jones has selected Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete and Will Skelton as the three overseas players picked as part of the “Giteau Law.”

Under the Overseas Players Selection Policy, the Wallabies coach is able to apply to Rugby Australia’s Rugby Committee to select more than three players.

The Wallabies will assemble on the Gold Coast on Sunday ahead of their Rugby Championship opener against the Springboks in Pretoria next month.

Forwards

Allan Alaalatoa

Richie Arnold

Matt Faessler

Nick Frost

Matt Gibbon

Jed Holloway

Michael Hooper (cc)

Tom Hooper

Rob Leota

Fraser McReight

Zane Nonggorr

David Porecki

Pete Samu

Will Skelton

James Slipper

Taniela Tupou

Jordan Uelese

Rob Valetini

Backs

Quade Cooper

Lalakai Foketi

Carter Gordon

Reece Hodge

Len Ikitau

Marika Koroibete

Ryan Lonergan

Tate McDermott

Mark Nawaqanitawase

Izaia Perese

Suliasi Vunivalu

Nic White

Tom Wright

Utility

Ben Donaldson

Josh Kemeny

Dylan Pietsch

Rehab Group

Angus Bell

Langi Gleeson

Andrew Kellaway

Samu Kerevi

Jordan Petaia

Matt Philip

Not considered for selection due to injury

Max Jorgensen

Tom Robertson

Izack Rodda

Corey Toole

Train-On Squad

Charlie Cale

Josh Canham

Pone Fa’amausili

Folau Fainga’a

Charlie Gamble

Ned Hanigan

Tom Lambert

Lachlan Lonergan

Cadeyrn Neville

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto

Blake Schoupp

Darcy Swain

Lachlan Swinton

Sam Talakai

Brad Wilkin

Harry Wilson

Backs

Lachlan Anderson

Jock Campbell

Filipo Daugunu

Issak Fines-Leleiwasa

Josh Flook

Bernard Foley

Jake Gordon

James O’Connor

Hunter Paisami

James Tutle

Joey Walton

Utility

Seru Uru

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Comments

1 Comment
R
Rob 388 days ago

Wouldn’t that make 5 overseas players or am I not caught up with transfer news.

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Turlough 4 hours ago
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