Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has named his first squad in charge of the green and gold, some ten months after the Kiwi was appointed coach of Australia.
And the new mentor has dropped a selection bombshell, naming 16 uncapped players in his 44-man Wallabies squad. Another 13 players boast less than 10 international caps.
The group is set to travel to New Zealand for a Bledisloe Cup campaign before returning to home soil for the Rugby Championship.
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And despite boasting plenty of fresh faces – with an average age of 25 – Rennie firmly believes the squad is strong enough to overcome the All Blacks.
The Brumbies boast 13 players in the squad, with the Reds and Waratahs having 11 representatives each ahead of nine from the Rebels.
“This is a really exciting day for us,” Rennie said in a statement.
“We’ve picked this squad on form and on potential and I know the whole group are chomping at the bit to get stuck in and push their case for a Wallaby jersey.”
The most startling omissions are backrow duo Isi Naisarani and Jack Dempsey, both of whom played in the Rugby World Cup.
Brumbies veteran centre Tevita Kuridrani also missed out, his 21-year-old ACT teammate Len Ikitau a shock inclusion with Rennie evidently looking to add depth for the long term.
Two more players could be added to the squad with SANZAAR recently allowing extended 46-player squads, and Rugby Australia amending the Giteau Law last week. The duo will likely be overseas-based players.
There are injury concerns though with Rebels trio Matt Toomua (groin), Dane Haylett-Petty (groin) and Jordan Uelese (shoulder) all been included despite a nervous wait for scans on their respective injuries picked up in Saturday’s qualifying final loss to the Reds.
Rennie said that there had been plenty of forward thinking put into the squad.
“When we picked the squad, we had to consider how we will handle the rigours of the Test calendar ahead,” said Rennie.
“It is obviously a big squad which is due to Covid restrictions as we can’t bring players in and out but each of one them is there on merit.”
WALLABIES 2020 SQUAD
Jermaine Ainsley (3 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 25)
Allan Alaalatoa (37 Tests, Brumbies, 26)
Tom Banks (6 Tests, Brumbies, 26)
Angus Bell* (uncapped, NSW Waratahs, 19)
Filipo Daugunu* (uncapped, Queensland Reds, 25)
Pone Fa’amausili* (uncapped, Melbourne Rebels, 23)
Folau Fainga’a (12 Tests, Brumbies, 25)
Jake Gordon (1 Test, NSW Waratahs, 27)
Ned Hanigan (20 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 25)
Will Harrison* (uncapped, NSW Waratahs, 21)
Dane Haylett-Petty (37 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 31)
Reece Hodge (39 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 26)
Michael Hooper (99 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 28)
Tom Horton* (uncapped, NSW Waratahs, 23)
Trevor Hosea* (uncapped, Melbourne Rebels, 20)
Len Ikitau* (uncapped, Brumbies, 21)
Harry Johnson-Holmes (1 Test, NSW Waratahs, 23)
Marika Korobiete (28 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 28)
Noah Lolesio* (uncapped, Brumbies, 20)
Jack Maddocks (7 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 23)
Tate McDermott* (uncapped, Queensland Reds, 22)
Fraser McReight* (uncapped, Queensland Reds, 21)
James O’Connor (52 Tests, Queensland Reds, 30)
Brandon Paenga-Amosa (4 Tests, Queensland Reds, 24)
Hunter Paisami* (uncapped, Queensland Reds, 22)
Jordan Petaia (3 Tests, Queensland Reds, 20)
Matt Philip (3 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 26)
Joe Powell (4 Tests, Brumbies, 26)
James Ramm* (uncapped, NSW Waratahs, 22)
Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (21 Tests, Queensland Reds, 24)
Pete Samu (9 Tests, Brumbies, 28)
Rob Simmons (100 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 31)
Irae Simone* (uncapped, Brumbies, 25)
Scott Sio (63 Tests, Brumbies, 28)
James Slipper (96 Tests, Brumbies, 31)
Lachie Swinton* (uncapped, NSW Waratahs, 23)
Matt To’omua (52 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 30)
Taniela Tupou (19 Tests, Queensland Reds, 24)
Jordan Uelese (9 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 23)
Rob Valetini (1 Test, Brumbies, 22)
Nic White (31 Tests, Brumbies, 30)
Harry Wilson* (uncapped, Queensland Reds, 21)
Liam Wright (2 Tests, Queensland Reds, 22)
Tom Wright* (uncapped, Brumbies, 23)