Monday 19 March 2018 / 06:03 AM


Under pressure Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has dropped a couple of bombshells with the naming of his extended training squad for the Rugby Championship, axing Reds veterans Quade Cooper and Scott Higginbotham.

Cooper’s omission leaves Bernard Foley as the only recognised No.10 in the squad, with Rebels utility Reece Hodge a possible back-up.

Kane Douglas, Rob Simmons, Pek Cowan and Tetera Faulkner have earned recalls, while Sean McMahon returns from an injury-enforced absence.

The 11-strong uncapped contingent includes Reds prop Taniela Tupou and NRL converts Marika Koroibete and Curtis Rona.

“We have a lot of work to get done between now and August 19 when we play New Zealand in Sydney. That work started in June, we tried to maintain some of that throughout the last rounds of Super Rugby and now we start to take it up a level,” Cheika said.

“We want all of these guys to be very clear on what the trademarks are of the Wallabies game and then be equipped and ready to deliver it when asked to enter the arena for Australia, whether it’s for five minutes or the whole 80 minutes of every Test this season.

“That is what our objective will be over the next couple of weeks and I can’t wait to get stuck into it.”

The Wallabies’ campaign gets underway on August 19 against the All Blacks at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium.



Jermaine Ainsley*, Western Force

Adam Coleman, 12 Tests, Western Force

Pek Cowan, 10 Tests, Western Force

Jack Dempsey, 1 Test, NSW Waratahs

Kane Douglas, 31 Tests, Queensland Reds

Sef Fa’agase*, Queensland Reds

Tetera Faulkner, 2 Tests, Western Force

Ned Hanigan, 3 Tests, NSW Waratahs

Richard Hardwick, 2 Tests, Western Force

Michael Hooper, 68 Tests, NSW Waratahs

Sekope Kepu, 80 Tests, NSW Waratahs

Adam Korczyk*, Queensland Reds

Tolu Latu, 4 Tests, NSW Waratahs

Sean McMahon, 15 Tests, Melbourne Rebels

Stephen Moore (c), 120 Tests, Queensland Reds

Tatafu Polota-Nau, 71 Tests, Western Force

Tom Robertson, 9 Tests, NSW Waratahs

Izack Rodda*, Queensland Reds

Rob Simmons, 71 Tests, Queensland Reds

Lopeti Timani, 7 Tests, Melbourne Rebels

Taniela Tupou*, Queensland Reds

Jordan Uelese*, Melbourne Rebels


Kurtley Beale, 60 Tests, NSW Waratahs

Israel Folau, 55 Tests, NSW Waratahs

Bernard Foley, 45 Tests, NSW Waratahs

Will Genia, 78 Tests

Dane Haylett-Petty, 17 Tests, Western Force

Reece Hodge, 13 Tests, Melbourne Rebels

Karmichael Hunt, 3 Tests, Queensland Reds

Samu Kerevi, 8 Tests, Queensland Reds

Marika Koroibete*, Melbourne Rebels

Campbell Magnay*, Queensland Reds

Billy Meakes*, Western Force

Eto Nabuli, 1 Test, Queensland Reds

Sefa Naivalu, 7 Tests, Melbourne Rebels

Izaia Perese*, Queensland Reds

Nick Phipps, 52 Tests, NSW Waratahs

Curtis Rona*, Western Force

*Denotes uncapped player


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Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

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