Wallabies coach Michael Cheika named three uncapped players in his 31-man squad for the third Bledisloe Cup clash against New Zealand in Japan.
Waratahs forward Jed Holloway has earned his first squad call-up after an impressive season in Vodafone Super Rugby while fellow New South Welshman Jake Gordon and Melbourne Rebels flanker Angus Cottrell are the other two uncapped players.
Queensland centre Samu Kerevi makes his return to the Wallabies fold after missing the entire Mitsubishi Estate Rugby Championship with a bicep injury. The 25-year old hasn’t played since the third Test against Ireland in June with Reece Hodge starting at outside centre in all six games in Kerevi’s absence.
Brumbies pair Tom Banks and Rory Arnold will fly to Japan on Sunday after being released for the Canberra Vikings’ National Rugby Championship (NRC) semi-final against Fijian Drua in Lautoka, Fiji.
The clash against New Zealand in Yokohama next Saturday is set to be a memorable occasion for Sekope Kepu who is in line to become the Wallabies 9th centurion, and the first prop to record 100 caps in Australia’s Test history.
Hodge and Cottrell ruled out with injury
Melbourne Rebels pair Reece Hodge and Angus Cottrell have been ruled out of the third Bledisloe Cup Test in Japan after both suffered injuries at training.
Hodge injured his ankle in the team’s final training session on home soil on Friday and will sit out the clash against New Zealand as well as the upcoming Spring Tour.
Cottrell suffered a knee injury on Thursday and while it’s not considered serious, the backrower will be racing the clock to be fit in time for the final three Tests of the year against Wales, Italy and England.
It’s a cruel blow for the 28-year old who was on the cusp of a Test debut following a stellar Vodafone Super Rugby season for the Melbourne Rebels, before leading the Melbourne Rising in the National Rugby Championship (NRC).
Brumbies backrower Pete Samu will now join the Wallabies squad in Japan after the Canberra Viking’s NRC campaign came to a close yesterday, following their defeat to the Fijian Drua.
Samu managed 20 minutes for the Vikings in what was his first game back since injuring his knee last month against Argentina on the Gold Coast.
The squad for the Spring Tour of Wales, Italy and England will be named following the final Bledisloe Cup clash of 2018.
Jermaine Ainsley (1 Test, Melbourne Rebels, 23)
Allan Alaalatoa (29 Tests, Brumbies, 24)
Rory Arnold (18 Tests , Brumbies, 28)
Adam Coleman (28 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 26)
Jack Dempsey (6 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 24)
Folau Fainga’a (5 Tests, Brumbies, 23)
Ned Hanigan (17 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 23)
Jed Holloway* (uncapped, NSW Waratahs, 25)
Michael Hooper (c) (87 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 26)
Sekope Kepu (99 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 32)
Tolu Latu (9 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 25)
Brandon Paenga-Amosa (4 Tests, Queensland Reds, 22)
David Pocock (74 Tests, Brumbies, 30)
Izack Rodda (13 Tests, Queensland Reds, 22)
Pete Samu (7 Tests, Brumbies, 26)
Rob Simmons (90 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)
Scott Sio (51 Tests, Brumbies, 27)
Taniela Tupou (8 Tests, Queensland Reds, 22)
Tom Banks (2 Tests, Brumbies, 24)
Kurtley Beale (80 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)
Israel Folau (69 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)
Bernard Foley (64 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)
Will Genia (96 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 30)
Jake Gordon* (uncapped, NSW Waratahs, 25)
Dane Haylett-Petty (27 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 29)
Samu Kerevi (21 Tests, Queensland Reds, 25)
Marika Koroibete (17 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 26)
Jack Maddocks (5 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 21)
Sefa Naivalu (7 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 26)
Nick Phipps (69 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)