Seven Wallabies in Australia A team - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Seven Wallabies in Australia A team

18/06/2008 03:10:37 PM Comments (0)

An Australia A rugby team including seven of the current Wallabies squad has been named to play Tonga in the Pacific Nations Cup match at North Sydney Oval on Sunday.

In a boost to the squad, which recorded victories in Japan and Samoa in the first two rounds of the competition, Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has released seven players who were not part of his match squad for Saturday's win over Ireland in Melbourne.

Forwards Mark Chisholm, Ben Alexander, Richard Brown and Stephen Hoiles and backs Digby Ioane, Brett Sheehan and Lachie Turner have all been included in Australia A's first home match of the campaign.

Joining Alexander in the front row is Waratahs prop Sekope Kepu and Queensland Reds hooker Sean Hardman.

Mark Chisholm and Peter Kimlin will form the second row, while Richard Brown, Stephen Hoiles and Wallabies World Cup lock Hugh McMeniman, enjoying his first hit-out since round two of Super 14, make up an impressive back row.

Australia A coach Phil Mooney has opted for an all-Waratahs halves combination with Brett Sheehan at scrumhalf and Sam Norton-Knight at flyhalf.

Captain Morgan Turinui and Timana Tahu resume their combination in the centres, while Digby Ioane and Matt Carraro will patrol the wings.

Lachie Turner will get his chance to press for a Test spot against the French when he lines up at fullback.

The match against the Tongans will also see the return of Wallabies World Cup winger Drew Mitchell, who will start from the bench after recovering from an ankle injury.

Mooney said the match would give the Wallabies contingent valuable match-practice and provide the players with an opportunity to push for selection for the two-Test series against France.

"Robbie Deans wants his players to have regular game-time and has released these squad players so they can maintain their match fitness and press for Test selection against France with a strong performance this weekend," said Mooney.

"Having these players in the Australia A squad has increased the competition for starting places and I'm looking forward to a professional performance against the Tongans on Sunday."


Lachlan Turner, Matt Carraro, Morgan Turinui, Timana Tahu, Digby Ioane, Sam Norton-Knight, Brett Sheehan, Stephen Hoiles, Richard Brown, Hugh McMeniman, Peter Kimlin, Mark Chisholm, Sekope Kepu, Sean Hardman, Ben Alexander. Res: John Ulugia, Guy Shepherdson, Al Campbell, Julian Salvi, Patrick Phibbs, Daniel Halangahu, Drew Mitchell.

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