Beale back as Schmidt names first Wallabies squad

Rugby

Wallabies coach Joe Schmidt has named 12 uncapped players in a 38-man squad for the July Test series against Wales and Georgia.

Schmidt unveiled his maiden Australia group on Friday and the players will now meet up in Brisbane on Sunday as the Kiwi takes his first steps in rebuilding the Wallabies up after their disastrous Rugby World Cup campaign and the exit of Eddie Jones.

“Yeah, it’s always a blend. And there have been a number of discussions over the last two weeks, really, that we started formulating probably where we were going with the selections,” Schmidt told reporters on Friday when asked whether he’d pick on form or with an eye to the future.

“The playoff games always carry a little bit more weight. You’re playing at a slightly higher level, a little bit more pressure. But there’s a lot more pressure to come. So, you know, there’s a number of guys in the squad who aren’t pressure tested and we’re pretty keen to learn a bit about them over these next three Test matches.

The squad is dominated by the Reds and Brumbies, who contribute 13 and 10 players to the group respectively. The Queensland contingent is headed by rising playmaker Tom Lynagh, the son of Wallabies great Michael, as well as locks Ryan Smith and Angus Blyth. Outside back Josh Flook has also won his first call-up.

Meanwhile, former All Blacks prop Alex Hodgman is in line to join an exclusive group of players who have represented both New Zealand and Australia at Test level after he was rewarded for a solid first season with the Reds.

The ACT inclusion is headed by Noah Lolesio, the No. 10 brought back into the Wallabies fold for the first time since 2022. He is joined in the squad by boom No. 8 Charlie Cale, who will fight it out for a spot in the back-row alongside Queensland’s Harry Wilson and Langi Gleeson, who is just one of three Waratahs selected.

The Rebels, who were kicked out of Super Rugby Pacific last month, have contributed seven players to the squad, with uncapped prop Isaac Kailea and speedster Darby Lancaster among the notable inclusions.

While there are a string of new faces, it is also good news for one of the older stagers of Australian rugby in Kurtley Beale. The veteran utility is poised for his first Wallabies involvement since 2022 after he was named alongside four of his Western Force teammates.

“Look, he’s in the squad, you know, and if you’re in the squad, you’re a chance to put the boots on in a 23 at some stage during the three-week period,” Schmidt said of Beale.

“Kurtley’s played well. Feedback from the force has been really positive about his influence. And even talking to the guys like Ben Donaldson, you know, it just frees Ben up to see what he needs to see and leave, you know, the wider spaces to Kurtley to boss.”

The Brumbies’ Corey Toole has been released to the Australia sevens program, but is likely to feature later in the year.

“I think it’s a massive pinnacle event [Paris Olympics] for Rugby Australia, and I had a discussion with Corey, and Corey was happy to prioritise in the short term the Olympics. And then, you know, I think Corey will be a real kind of asset to us if selected beyond that.”

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

Articles You May Like

Stricker uses short game to take Firestone lead
WR Aiyuk requests trade from 49ers, sources say
Team USA’s Kerr: Trump shooting ‘demoralizing’
Passan: On baseball’s biggest stage, Paul Skenes showed he belongs
Way-too-early Calder Trophy watch for 2024-25: Is it Macklin Celebrini’s race to lose?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *