Veteran centre Adam Ashley-Cooper has been included in the Wallabies’ 34-man squad for their European tour after a two-year absence from Test rugby.
The 34-year-old has played 116 Tests for Australia, with his last game coming in the Wallabies’ 29-9 loss against the All Blacks in 2016.
Between 2015 and 2017, he played for French club Bordeaux but last year moved to Japan, where he represents the Kobe Kobelco Steelers.
‘His experience is important and also his versatility, his ability to cover a few positions,’ said coach Michael Cheika. ‘We need a couple of extra backs here on the trip. Ashley-Cooper will train with us, we’ll see where he’s at. He’s come on the tour with us to be available for selection, he’s not coming for a holiday.’
Another selection that has caught the attention is that of 18-year-old Jordan Petaia. The teenager made his debut for the Reds in March and went on to win 13 Super Rugby caps.
‘He’s a good lad, he wants to succeed, he wants to do the work, he’s eager,’ said Cheika. ‘Having him here with us these next few weeks will give him an idea of what’s required at the level and give him a chance to make a play for the World Cup squad.’
There are three other uncapped players in the squad – Waratahs duo Jed Holloway (utility forward) and Jake Gordon (scrumhalf) and Brumbies loose forward Rob Valentini.
Forwards – Jermaine Ainsley, Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Jack Dempsey, Folau Fainga’a, Ned Hanigan, Jed Holloway, Michael Hooper, Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, David Pocock, Izack Rodda, Rob Simmons, Pete Samu, Scott Sio, Taniela Tupou, Rob Valetini.
Backs – Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tom Banks, Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Jake Gordon, Dane Haylett-Petty, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Jack Maddocks, Sefa Naivalu, Jordan Petaia, Nick Phipps, Matt Toomua.
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