Foley, Genia to help Hooper as All Blacks loom

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 06:38

SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Experienced backs Will Genia and Bernard Foley were Friday appointed as vice-captains to support new Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper in the opening two Rugby Championship matches against the All Blacks.

Seven new caps were also named in the squad to face their arch-rivals on August 19 and 26, in what doubles as the first two games of the trans-Tasman Bledisloe Cup series.

"Will and Bernard are starting to find their voice as real leaders within the team and will be valuable assets to the captain in Michael," said coach Michael Cheika.

"They have been selected because both of them are hungry to win and are prepared to keep both themselves and their team to the high standards required to take the Wallabies to be the best."

Scrumhalf Genia has already captained Australia four times, while goal-kicker Foley has blossomed in recent years to become a fixture in the team.

"It's a huge personal honour to be vice-captain of this team and I am looking forward to working with all the leaders in this team to ensure the Wallabies elevate to the best we possibly can be," said Foley. 

"Hoops [Hooper] is a remarkable leader, and I believe with the other leaders in the team we can complement his style and assist him in that responsibility."

Hooper will lead the team out in Sydney after being appointed captain this week to replace the soon-to-retire Stephen Moore as the Wallabies build towards the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

Moore, who has been capped 120 times, will continue to play for the Wallabies until the end of Australia's European tour in November and is in the squad for the All Blacks.

There are recalls for locks Rob Simmons and Kane Douglas, who were both omitted from the June Tests squad, while Cheika named seven uncapped players including rugby league converts Marika Koroibete and Curtis Rona.

Western Force centre Billy Meakes earned his first squad selection following an outstanding Super Rugby season, while young Melbourne hooker Jordan Uelese surged into contention after a standout World U20s Championships this year. 

Queensland Reds trio Izack Rodda, Adam Korczyk and Izaia Perese will also press for selection.

The Wallabies suffered a surprise loss to Scotland among their three Tests in June, and they will be heavy underdogs against world champions New Zealand.

Australia squad:

Forwards: Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Jack Dempsey, Kane Douglas, Tetera Faulkner, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper (captain), Sekope Kepu, Adam Korczyk, Sean McMahon, Stephen Moore, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson, Izack Rodda, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Lopeti Timani, Jordan Uelese

Backs: Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Tevita Kuridrani, Billy Meakes, Izaia Perese, Nick Phipps, Joe Powell, Curtis Rona, Henry Speight.

Agence France-Presse

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