Australia reveal Wallabies Rugby World Cup squad

Australia head coach Michael Cheika has named his 31 man squad for the 2015
Rugby World Cup in England with scrumhalf Nic White and former captain James Horwill missing the call up.

White’s exclusion comes as a surprise after he came off the bench and proved
to be Australia’s hero in the final Rugby Championship match scoring 11 points
in 15 minutes to help the Wallabies win their first Rugby Championship title
and a first victory over the All Blacks in four years.

One surprise omission is that of Scott Higginbotham who is the Rebels leading try scorer.

Horwill has been in and out of the Wallabies squad since 2013 when he was captain
and his exclusion does not come as a big surprise.

The squad is made up of 17 forwards and 14 backs and will be captained by Stephen
Moore in his third consecutive Rugby World Cup.

2003 Rugby World Cup finalist Matt Giteau and Wallabies Vice-Captain Adam Ashley-Cooper
will join Moore in their third Rugby World Cup campaign.

Sharing the Vice-Captaincy role alongside Ashley-Cooper will be Michael Hooper.
The 24 year-old flanker will be one of thirteen Rugby World Cup debutants for
the Wallabies, including dual international Israel Folau.

Toby Smith and Sean McMahon are the only players named in the squad who have
not featured during the 2015 international season, with Cheika opting for a
more balanced and versatile backrow and props group.

Cheika said it was the collective effort of his broader Wallabies playing group
which has laid the platform for his chosen squad to lead Australia against the
rest of the world.

“Firstly, I would like to thank all of the players who have contributed
to the Wallabies’ Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup campaigns this season,”
said Cheika.

“We’ve become a really tight group and it was a very difficult process
in picking only 31 players, but I know each player selected will travel to England
with the full support of those team mates who won’t board the flight.

“Our primary focus throughout the Super Rugby competition, The Rugby Championship
and Bledisloe Cup was to select a balanced squad between youth, experience and
form and this squad certainly delivers on this.

“It’s also important that we select a squad that will handle the
tournament play and our draw in particular at the Rugby World Cup, as well as
maintain a strong competition for places in the team.”

Since taking the reins of the Wallabies program in October 2014, Cheika has
been pleased with the team’s progress however is adamant his charges will
lift another gear for the Rugby World Cup.

“The first part of the year during the Super Rugby Season, we worked hard
at building relationships and strong foundations, and during The Rugby Championship
we wanted to continue to improve and play a brand of Rugby that Australia could
be proud of and get every player contributing towards the outcome.

“It’s essential that we continue to improve over the next four weeks
as a squad and we’ll be working hard to make sure we deliver on the qualities
we want people to see in the Wallabies team of 2015.”

The Wallabies will commence their preparations with a series of camps in Sydney,
Indiana and Bath. An additional 10 players have been named to join the squad
until the time the 31-man Rugby World Cup squad departs for England on September

The first camp will be held this weekend in Sydney, which will include a public
farewell event to provide fans with an opportunity to see the team off in person
at Martin Place on Thursday August 27, before the squad steps out for the 14th
Annual John Eales Medal Gala Dinner later that evening.


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