• Four rookies in Wallabies squad

    Ewen McKenzie has announced a 32-man squad for next month's Test series against France in Australia.

    The group will assemble at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast on Sunday, 1 June before competing in three Tests for the Trophée des Bicentenaires. The series begins at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on 7 June, travels through Etihad Stadium in Melbourne on 14 June and concludes at Sydney Football Stadium on 21 June.

    In total the squad boasts 831 games of Test experience, has an average age of just under 26 years old, and includes representatives from all five Australian Super Rugby franchises – Waratahs (11), Brumbies (10), Force (5), Reds (4) and Rebels (2).

    Following a year in which 12 players made their debut for the Wallabies, McKenzie's initial squad for 2014 includes just four uncapped players in hooker Nathan Charles and locks Sam Carter, Luke Jones and Will Skelton.

    A number of former Test representatives who missed squad selection in 2013 either through injury or non-selection have also earned a re-call, including prop Pek Cowan and backrowers Scott Higginbotham and Matt Hodgson. For Cowan and Hodgson, their selection presents an opportunity to reignite their international careers after the pair played their last capped Test for Australia in 2011 against South Africa in Sydney.

    Players who have not been considered for selection due to injury include flanker David Pocock (knee), flyhalf Quade Cooper (shoulder), centre Kyle Godwin (knee), and outside backs Joe Tomane (cheekbone), Chris Feauai-Sautia (hamstring) and Peter Betham (ankle).

    McKenzie will announce his captain when the team assembles at Sanctuary Cove.

    Wallabies squad:

    Forwards: Wycliff Palu, Ben McCalman, Scott Higginbotham, Michael Hooper, Matt Hodgson, Scott Fardy, James Horwill, Rob Simmons, Will Skelton, Luke Jones, Sam Carter, Ben Alexander, Sekope Kepu, James Slipper, Scott Sio, Pek Cowan, Stephen Moore, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Nathan Charles.

    Backs: Israel Folau, Nick Cummins, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Pat McCabe, Rob Horne, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Leali'ifano, Matt Toomua, Kurtley Beale, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Nic White, Nick Phipps.

    Photo: Will Russell/Getty Images

    Post by

    Simon Borchardt