Uncapped teenager Jordan Petaia has been included in Australia’s squad for their final Rugby Championship match against New Zealand, while veterans David Pocock and Tatafu Polota-Nau have also been called into a 36-man party.
Reds wing Petaia was selected to make his Test debut against Italy last year, only to then be ruled out due to a hamstring problem.
The 19-year-old missed the majority of the 2019 Super Rugby season after suffering a serious foot injury, but he now has the chance to stake his claim for a place in the Wallabies’ Rugby World Cup squad.
“It’s great to see Jordan back,” said head coach Michael Cheika. “He’s had a few games of club rugby under his belt now so we’ll look to integrate him this week in Perth and give him time to settle in.”
Pocock has not played since April, with a calf problem bringing a premature end to his Super Rugby career.
It remains to be seen whether Cheika has any intention of utilising the former skipper against the All Blacks, or whether Pocock will simply train with the squad as he continues to build up his fitness.
Hooker Polota-Nau (knee) has also been called up as he recovers from injury, but there is no place for scrum-half Nick Phipps while Pete Samu, Jack Maddocks and Jack Dempsey have all been overlooked. The latter sustained a shoulder injury playing club rugby last weekend.
The Wallabies must beat New Zealand in Perth next weekend to have any chance of winning the Rugby Championship.
BREAKING: Your Qantas #Wallabies squad travelling to Perth ahead of the Bledisloe Cup at Optus Stadium.
— Qantas Wallabies (@qantaswallabies) August 2, 2019
Australia squad to face New Zealand
Forwards: Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Folau Fainga’a, Michael Hooper, Luke Jones, Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Isi Naisarani, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Izack Rodda, Rob Simmons, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Taniela Tupou, Jordan Uelese, Rob Valetini, Liam Wright.
Backs: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tom Banks, Kurtley Beale, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, James O’Connor, Jordan Petaia, Joe Powell, Matt Toomua, Nic White.
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