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