Wallabies
Wallabies name uncapped Speight for Rugby Championship
RUGBY

Wallabies name uncapped Speight for Rugby Championship

Winger Henry Speight has been named in Australia's Rugby Championship squad despite being ineligible for half of the tournament.

The Fijian-born 26-year-old is the only uncapped member of the 32-man squad named by coach Ewen McKenzie on Wednesday.

Speight will miss the Wallabies' first three games before he becomes eligible to represent Australia on September 11, two days before their clash against Argentina on the Gold Coast.

Openside flanker Michael Hooper captains the squad, whose first match is against New Zealand in Sydney on August 16.

New South Wales Waratahs and ACT Brumbies players will link up with their team-mates on August 6, three days after the rest of the squad come together, having reached the Super Rugby semi-finals.

The Waratahs and Brumbies have a combined 22 players in the squad.

Brumbies pair Ben Alexander and Joe Tomane, injured at the time, are the only members who were not involved during the Wallabies' 3-0 Test series sweep of France in June.

The Wallabies are looking to take possession of the Bledisloe Cup, played against the All Blacks, for the first time since 2002.


But McKenzie said the pressure was on New Zealand, who will be looking for a world record 18th straight win when the teams meet in Sydney.

"The challenge for us now is to continue this consistency throughout the Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship, beginning with a Bledisloe Cup clash against New Zealand," he said in a statement.

"We understand a great deal of attention going into the match will be around the All Blacks and their motivation to create a new piece of history by winning a world-record 18 consecutive games.

"For us, it’s no secret that our desire to win back the Bledisloe Cup grows every year, but if our attention isn’t focused on the right areas during our preparations then it will be easy to get caught looking too far ahead.

"We recognise that and will have a clear understanding of how we are going to approach and prepare for the opening game."

Stephen Moore and David Pocock (knees), Will Genia (ankle) and Quade Cooper (shoulder) are among the players missing for the Wallabies.

Australia squad: Ben Alexander (ACT Brumbies), Adam Ashley-Cooper (NSW Waratahs), Kurtley Beale (NSW Waratahs), Luke Burgess (Melbourne Rebels), Sam Carter (ACT Brumbies), Nathan Charles (Western Force), Pek Cowan (Western Force), Scott Fardy (ACT Brumbies), Israel Folau (NSW Waratahs), Bernard Foley (NSW Waratahs), James Hanson (Queensland Reds), Scott Higginbotham (Melbourne Rebels), Matt Hodgson (Western Force), Michael Hooper (c) (NSW Waratahs), Rob Horne (NSW Waratahs), James Horwill (Queensland Reds), Sekope Kepu (NSW Waratahs), Tevita Kuridrani (ACT Brumbies), Christian Leali’ifano (ACT Brumbies), Ben McCalman (Western Force), Pat McCabe (ACT Brumbies), Wycliff Palu (NSW Waratahs), Nick Phipps (NSW Waratahs), Tatafu Polota-Nau (NSW Waratahs), Rob Simmons (Queensland Reds), Scott Sio (ACT Brumbies), Will Skelton (NSW Waratahs), James Slipper (Queensland Reds), Henry Speight (ACT Brumbies), Joe Tomane (ACT Brumbies), Matt Toomua (ACT Brumbies), Nic White (ACT Brumbies).

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