Wallabies axe Horwill, White

James Horwill and Nic White were the big omissions when the Wallabies' 31-man World Cup squad was named in Sydney on Friday.

Coach Michael Cheika announced the group, comprising 17 forwards and 14 backs with well over 1,200 Test caps between them, but overlooked Reds lock Horwill, who served as Wallabies captain at the previous World Cup in New Zealand and White, the hero in their Bledisloe Cup victory over the All Blacks a fortnight ago.

Rob Simmons, Will Skelton, Dean Mumm and Kane Douglas are the four locks in the team, while Will Genia and Nick Phipps are preferred over White as the scrumhalves.

Cheika stuck with Bernard Foley and Quade Cooper as the only specialist flyhalves in the touring party. 

Captain Stephen Moore, vice-captain Adam Ashley-Cooper, Wycliff Palu and Toulon duo Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell made the cut and will all travel to a third World Cup campaign.

The coach did spring a surprise with the inclusions of Rebels duo Toby Smith and Sean McMahon, the only players named who have not featured during the 2015 international season.

'It's also important that we select a squad that will handle the tournament play and our draw in particular, as well as maintain a strong competition for places in the team,' said Cheika.

'We've become a really tight group and it was a very difficult process in picking only 31 players, but I know each player selected will travel to England with the full support of those teammates who won't board the flight.'

Wallabies squad:

Forwards – Wycliff Palu, David Pocock, Michael Hooper, Ben McCalman, Sean McMahon, Scott Fardy, Kane Douglas, Dean Mumm, Rob Simmons, Will Skelton, Stephen Moore (c), Tatafu Polota-Nau, Greg Holmes, Sekope Kepu, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Toby Smith.

Backs – Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Rob Horne, Drew Mitchell, Henry Speight, Joe Tomane, Tevita Kuridrani, Kurtley Beale, Matt Giteau, Matt Toomua, Quade Cooper, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Nick Phipps.

Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

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