Michael Chieka has announced his squad for the upcoming tour and it contains a couple of surprises –
Forwards – Allan Ala’alatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Kane Douglas, Scott Fardy, James Hanson, Michael Hooper, Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Sean McMahon, Stephen Moore, Dean Mumm, David Pocock, Tom Robertson, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Will Skelton, James Slipper, Lopeti Timani.
Backs – Quade Cooper, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Nick Frisby, Will Genia, Kyle Godwin, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Marika Koroibete, Tevita Kuridrani, Sefanaia Naivalu, Nick Phipps, Henry Speight.
Samu Kerevi is out injured and Cheika has brought three uncapped players into the fold, including rugby league convert Marika Koroibete.
Fijian born Koroibete hasn’t yet played Super Rugby.
Will Genia, who was forced to miss the Wallabies third and final Bledisloe Cup match against New Zealand after being recalled by Stade Francais, has also been included in the squad. He is available as the tour falls inside World Rugby’s international window.
Chieka has also named four development players to tour with the squad to gain experience including Taniela Tupou (the ‘Tongan Thor’)
Thor joins fellow Reds player Izaia Perese and Waratahs pair Jack Dempsey and Andrew Kellaway, as Wallabies coach Cheika places one eye on the future.
The quartet starred during the National Rugby Championship and will train with the squad as an introduction to Test rugby.
Perese, Dempsey and Kellaway are eligible for Australia’s tour game against the French Barbarians in Bordeaux on November 24, while Tupou is 12 months away from completing his three-year residency requirement under World Rugby regulations.
It’s worth remembering just what Thor can do on the rugby field –
There is talk in Australia that this could be the second Grand Slam tour (alongside 1984) with victories over England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.
This seems a bit premature to me, but then what do I know? Well pretty much fuck all according to Harro. But then he knows less than me!