Star fullback Israel Folau is set to make a surprise comeback for the Wallabies next weekend after being included in a 31-strong squad for the upcoming Rugby Championship clashes against South Africa and Argentina.
Folau has been sidelined with an ankle injury after limping from the field in Australia’s Sydney Bledisloe Cup opener, but may run out against the Springboks in Brisbane on Saturday night.
Early reports said Folau was due for at least a month on the sideline, but appears to have made a speedy recovery.
Young prop Taniela Tupou has also been included despite battling a hamstring complaint and failing to appear during the Bledisloe series. Head coach Michael Cheika has called in three more players; Rory Arnold, Brandon Paenga-Amosa and Caleb Timu.
Hooker Paenga-Amosa and loose forward Timu featured Australia’s 2-1 series loss against Ireland in June.
The Wallabies will be desperate to defend their turf after dropping their first two Rugby Championship games. Their matches in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast will be their last at home before traveling to South Africa, Argentina and Japan.
Forwards: Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Folau Fainga’a, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper (c), Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson, Izack Rodda, Pete Samu, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Caleb Timu, Lukhan Tui, Taniela Tupou.
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