Cheika overhauls Wallabies squad

Michael Cheika has named eight uncapped players in the Wallabies' 34-man squad for the June Test series, while there were six surprise omissions.

Dean Mumm, Scott Fardy, Rob Simmons, Kane Douglas, Rob Horne and Will Skelton, who were all regulars in the Australia team in recent years, have been left out of the squad that'll face Fiji, Scotland and Italy.

Instead, Cheika called up rookies Eto Nabuli, Lukhan Tui, Karmichael Hunt, Ned Hanigan, Jack Dempsey, Marika Koroibete, Richard Hardwick and Joe Powell.

Cheika denied that some of the omitted players' decision to further their careers abroad had any impact on his selection.

'I said to those guys when they decided to choose a departure that we’re not here to bite off nose despite our face. Our position is more like if we thought we were going to pick one of those guys in the starting team, then we’ll bring them in,' he explained. 

'We’ve got to back our young players that are coming through and are putting form on the board. I think that’s a pretty sound philosophy. We’re looking at form. Would that player be picked in the starting test team right now and then decide from there.'

Scrumhalf Will Genia is the only overseas-based player recalled to the squad. 

Wallabies squad – Michael Hooper, Richard Hardwick, Ned Hanigan, Jack Dempsey, Scott Higginbotham, Lopeti Timani, Stephen Moore (c), Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tolu Latu, Scott Sio, Tom Robertson, Toby Smith, Sekope Kepu, Allan Alaalatoa, Adam Coleman, Rory Arnold, Sam Carter, Lukhan Tui, Bernard Foley, Quade Cooper, Will Genia, Joe Powell, Nick Phipps, Reece Hodge, Samu Kerevi, Tevita Kuridrani, Kyle Godwin, Eto Nabuli, Marika Koroibete, Henry Speight, Karmichael Hunt, Dane Haylett-Petty, Israel Folau, Sefa Naivalu.

Photo: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

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Mariette Adams