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First Wallabies squad of the year named with a baker's dozen of uncapped talent

By Ned Lester
Ex-Ireland boss Joe Schmidt has taken charge of Australia (Photo by Ayush Kumar/AFP vis Getty Images)

New Wallabies coach Joe Schmidt has named his first squad of the year ahead of the opening slate of Tests against Wales.

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The new-look Wallabies camp aims to put the trials of yesteryear in the rearview and build towards an exciting future which of course includes a Lions Tour in 2025 and a home World Cup in 2027.

While Schmidt hasn’t committed as far as the later tournament, today’s squad is the first major step towards what Wallabies fans will be hoping is a far more competitive future for the ailing heavyweights.

The squad features 13 uncapped players, and among the notable absentees are Carter Gordon, following his decision to switch to rugby league.

Former All Black Alex Hodgman has made it a successful switch across the Tasman after leaving the Blues in favour of the Reds in 2024, making Schmidt’s 38-man list.

Hodgman is one of 21 forwards in the squad and is joined in the pack by Josh Nasser, Charlie Cale, Isaac Kailea, Angus Blyth, Ryan Smith and Jeremy Williams with ambitions of sporting the Wallaby gold for the first time.

In the backs, there’s an air of youth with the likes of Josh Flook, Darby Lancaster and Tom Lynagh joined by David Feliuai, Dylan Pietsch and Hamish Stewart as potential debutants.

Wallabies head coach Joe Schmidt said: “There were some very tight selection calls, as there always are when selecting a National Team.

“The coaching group has looked hard at on-field performances and had ongoing discussions with Super Rugby coaches. We’ve combined the observations we’ve made, with some candid discussion and feel that we have some very good players to start working with, while also acknowledging that there are some good players who have missed selection.

“We have a short runway into our first Test, so we’re just keen to get to work and make as much progress as we can over the four days we have in Brisbane.”

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Wallabies squad 

Forwards:
Allan Alaalatoa
Angus Blyth*
Charlie Cale*
Matt Faessler
Nick Frost
Langi Gleeson
Alex Hodgman*
Tom Hooper
Isaac Kailea*
Fraser McReight
Josh Nasser*
Zane Nonggorr
Billy Pollard
Lukhan Salakaia-Loto
Ryan Smith*
James Slipper
Taniela Tupou
Rob Valetini
Jeremy Williams*
Harry Wilson
Liam Wright

Backs:
Kurtley Beale
Filipo Daugunu
Ben Donaldson
David Feliuai*
Josh Flook*
Jake Gordon
Len Ikitau
Andrew Kellaway
Darby Lancaster*
Noah Lolesio
Tom Lynagh*
Tate McDermott
Hunter Paisami
Dylan Pietsch*
Hamish Stewart*
Nic White
Tom Wright

Recovering from injury:
Angus Bell
Harry Johnson-Holmes
Max Jorgensen
Rob Leota
Lachlan Lonergan
David Porecki
Blake Schoupp

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Australia Sevens:
Corey Toole

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Comments

16 Comments
J
Jmann 28 days ago

It is absurd that an ex-All Black is playing for Australia. International rules around who can play are a nonsense.

j
john 28 days ago

If you didn’t think Schmidt was out to sabotage the Wallabies then Beale’s selection just proves you are wrong.
And here we go again with a kiwi Wallaby coach only selecting one 7 so he can run him in to the ground like Deans did with Pocock, so they are not a threat to the All Blacks . We have seen all this before. It’s boring.

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finn 5 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

What a difference 9 months makes! Last autumn everyone was talking about how important versatile bench players were to SA’s WC win, now we’re back to only wanting specialists? The timing of this turn is pretty odd when you consider that some of the best players on the pitch in the SA/Ireland match were Osbourne (a centre playing out of position at 15), Feinberg-Mngomezulu (a fly-half/centre playing out of position at 15), and Frawley (a utility back). Having specialists across the backline is great, but its not always necessary. Personally I think Frawley is unlikely to displace Crowley as first choice 10, but his ability to play 12 and 15 means he’s pretty much guaranteed to hold down a spot on the bench, and should get a decent amount of minutes either at the end of games or starting when there are injuries. I think Willemse is in a similar boat. Feinberg-Mngomezulu possibly could become a regular starter at 10 for the Springboks, but he might not, given he’d have to displace Libbok and Pollard. I think its best not to put all your eggs in one basket - Osbourne played so well at the weekend that he will hopefully be trusted with the 15 shirt for the autumn at least, but if things hadn’t gone well for him he could have bided his time until an opportunity opened up at centre. Similarly Feinberg-Mngomezulu is likely to get a few opportunities at 15 in the coming months due to le Roux’s age and Willemse’s injury, but given SA don’t have a single centre aged under 30 its likely that opportunities could also open up at 12 if he keeps playing there for Stormers. None of this will discount him from being given gametime at 10 - in the last RWC cycle Rassie gave a start at 10 to Frans Steyn, and even gave de Klerk minutes there off the bench - but it will give him far more opportunities for first team rugby.

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FEATURE Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma
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