Six uncapped Wallabies have been named in Dave Rennie’s 35-man squad to face England in a three-Test series next month, including Melbourne Storm premiership winner Suliasi Vunivalu.
The Wallabies announced their squad on Sunday morning, with Rennie confirming Pone Fa’amausili, Nick Frost, Jed Holloway, Cadeyrn Neville, David Porecki and Vunivalu could all suit up for the Wallabies for the very first time.
It marked the first time that Vunivalu, Holloway, Porcecki and Neville had been selected in an extended Wallabies squad. Neville’s inclusion comes at the ripe old age of 33.
Rennie has selected 15 Brumbies players in his squad, reflecting the side’s dominant performance in the ongoing Super Rugby season; the Brumbies stunned one and all by defeating the Highlanders last week to advance to the Super Ruby Pacific semi-finals.
Seven players from the Queensland Reds, including Vunivalu, have been chosen, with six from the Waratahs and four from the Melbourne Rebels.
As was confirmed earlier this week, Rennie selected Quade Cooper, Samu Kerevi and Marika Koroibete as his international picks under the “Giteau Law”. All three play club rugby in Japan and have impressed in recent performances for the Wallabies.
“The core of this squad is a group who have performed strongly for us over the last two seasons, while strong form in Super Rugby Pacific has been rewarded with a handful of new faces,” Rennie said.
“The past two years have allowed us to build strong foundations as a group but there’s no doubt that we have a lot more in us.
“We’re looking forward to working hard and preparing as a group to put in performances that make our supporters proud against England next month.”
The Wallabies will assemble on the Sunshine Coast on Thursday ahead of the series opener in Perth on July 2.
From there, the two traditional foes will battle it out in Brisbane on July 9 and in Sydney on July 16.
Wallabies camp squad (age, team, Tests played)
Allan Alaalatoa (28, Brumbies, 53 Tests)
Tom Banks (27, Brumbies, 19 Tests)
Angus Bell (21, NSW Waratahs, 16 Tests)
Quade Cooper (34, Kintetsu Liners, 75 Tests)
Pone Fa’amausili (25, Melbourne Rebels, uncapped)
Folau Fainga’a (27, Brumbies, 25 Tests)
Nick Frost (22, Brumbies, uncapped)
Jake Gordon (28, NSW Waratahs, 10 Tests)
Michael Hooper (c) (30, NSW Waratahs, 118 Tests)
Jed Holloway (29, NSW Waratahs, uncapped)
Len Ikitau (23, Brumbies, 13 Tests)
Andrew Kellaway (26, Melbourne Rebels, 13 Tests)
Samu Kerevi (28, Suntory Sungoliath, 38 Tests)
Marika Koroibete (29, Saitama Wild Knights, 42 Tests)
Rob Leota (25, Melbourne Rebels, 6 Tests)
Noah Lolesio (22, Brumbies, 9 Tests)
Lachlan Lonergan (22, Brumbies, 4 Tests)
Tate McDermott (23, Queensland Reds, 15 Tests)
Cadeyrn Neville (33, Brumbies, uncapped)
James O’Connor (31, Queensland Reds, 61 Tests)
Hunter Paisami (24, Queensland Reds, 15 Tests)
Izaia Perese (25, NSW Waratahs, 2 Tests)
Jordan Petaia (22, Queensland Reds, 16 Tests)
Matt Philip (28, Melbourne Rebels, 20 Tests)
David Porecki (29, NSW Waratahs, uncapped)
Pete Samu (30, Brumbies, 19 Tests)
Scott Sio (30, Brumbies, 69 Tests)
James Slipper (33, Brumbies, 114 Tests)
Darcy Swain (24, Brumbies, 10 Tests)
Taniela Tupou (26, Queensland Reds, 38 Tests)
Rob Valetini (23, Brumbies, 18 Tests)
Suliasi Vunivalu (26, Queensland Reds, uncapped)
Nic White (31, Brumbies, 47 Tests)
Harry Wilson (22, Queensland Reds, 10 Tests)
Tom Wright (24, Brumbies, 10 Tests)