Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has confirmed his 31-man squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, in front of a packed house at the Qantas Hangar in Sydney this morning.
Japan will be Hooper’s second appearance at Rugby’s showpiece while 18 players are set for their Rugby World Cup debut.
At the other end of the spectrum, Adam Ashley-Cooper will play in his fourth Rugby World Cup becoming just the second Wallaby to ever do so after George Gregan. Ashley-Cooper has played in 17 Rugby World Cup matches, just five games behind all-time leaders Jason Leonard and Richie McCaw.
The full squad is:
Allan Alaalatoa (34 Tests, Brumbies, 25)
Rory Arnold (22 Tests , Brumbies, 29)
Adam Coleman (33 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 28)
Jack Dempsey (11 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 25)
Folau Fainga’a (11 Tests, Brumbies, 24)
Michael Hooper (c) (95 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 27)
Sekope Kepu (105 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 33)
Tolu Latu (15 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 26)
Isi Naisarani (4 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 24)
David Pocock (77 Tests, Brumbies, 31)
Izack Rodda (21 Tests, Queensland Reds, 22)
Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (15 Tests, Queensland Reds, 23)
Rob Simmons (97 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 30)
Scott Sio (58 Tests, Brumbies, 27)
James Slipper (90 Tests, Brumbies, 30)
Taniela Tupou (15 Tests, Queensland Reds, 23)
Jordan Uelese (3 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 22)
Adam Ashley-Cooper (118 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 35)
Kurtley Beale (87 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 30)
Bernard Foley (69 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)
Will Genia (104 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 31)
Dane Haylett-Petty (32 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 30)
Reece Hodge (37 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 24)
Samu Kerevi (vc) (29 Tests, Queensland Reds, 25)
Marika Koroibete (23 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 27)
Tevita Kuridrani (60 Tests, Brumbies, 28)
Christian Lealiifano (22 Tests, Brumbies, 31)
James O’Connor (47 Tests, Queensland Reds, 29)
Jordan Petaia (uncapped, Queensland Reds, 19)
Matt Toomua (46 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 29)
Nic White (26 Tests, TBC, 29)
Only one uncapped player is in the squad with boom rookie Jordan Petaia included in the 31-man group. The 19-year old missed most of the 2019 Super Rugby season following a Lisfranc injury but has since recovered to full fitness.
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said: “Firstly, I would like to thank all of the players who have contributed to the Wallabies’ Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup campaigns this season.
“We’ve become a really tight group and it was a very difficult process in picking only 31 players, but I know each player selected will travel to Japan with the full support of those team mates who won’t board the flight.
“We have worked really hard at building each week and each game so far this season, and play a brand of Rugby that Australia would be proud of and get every player contributing towards the outcome.
“It’s also important that we select a squad that will handle the tournament play and our draw in particular at the Rugby World Cup, as well as maintain a strong competition for places in the team.
“These next few weeks are about building and adding that little extra edge as a squad and we’ll be working hard to make sure we deliver on the qualities we want people to see when we run out on the field in Japan.
“We have five extra train-on members coming with us to New Caledonia and then we’ll return to take on Samoa, who we have had great clashes with in the past,” Cheika said.
The Wallabies will depart for an intensive 10-day training camp in New Caledonia later this afternoon before returning to Sydney to play Samoa at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday September 7.
The second Pool match against Wales will be Australia’s 50th Rugby World Cup match, becoming just the second country to achieve the milestone after New Zealand.
The Wallabies will then take on Uruguay and Georgia in Oita and Shizuoka on October 5 and October 11, respectively. The two highest-ranked teams at the end of the pool stage will advance to the Quarter Finals.
– Rugby Australia
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