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Five Newcomers In Australian Squad

Five Newcomers In Australian Squad

Australian coach Eddie Jones has included five newcomers in his squad for next month’s European tour, which includes a Dublin date with Ireland.

Morgan Turinui scoring against France last July

Australian coach Eddie Jones has included five newcomers in his squad for next month’s European tour, which includes a Dublin date with Ireland.

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Flanker Leroy Houston, centre/winger Digby Ioane, hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau, utility back Cameron Shepherd and lock Adam Wallace-Harrison have all made Jones’ 31-man squad, which will be captained once more by veteran scrum half George Gregan.

Jones’ selection has been hampered by the fact that 14 players are currently unavailable to him due to injury, rest or suspension. Number 8 David Lyons and backs Clyde Rathbone and Ben Tune are the latest cry-offs.

The Wallabies’ tour schedule is a daunting one – especially for a side that have lost their previous five games. A difficult Tri-Nations campaign has put added pressure on Jones, whose side will take in Tests against France (November 5), England (November 12), Ireland (Lansdowne Road, 2.30pm, November 19) and Wales (November 26) next month.

Jones, who has guided the Aussies to two wins over Ireland in three Tests during his term, said: “We’ve selected eight players who are uncapped at Test level and a further eight with less than ten caps to their name. When you balance this with the experience of captain George Gregan and a dozen players who have been regulars in the Test squad for the last four years, it certainly makes for an exciting mix.

“France, England, Ireland and Wales are all strong opposition, especially at home. It will be a challenging Tour, and one everyone is looking forward to.

“The players have been working hard already over the last four weeks and we’ll now come into camp and continue those preparations for the first Test against France in Marseille on November 5.”

The Wallabies will assemble in Sydney tomorrow (Wednesday) for a four-day camp, before heading to their base in Coffs Harbour next week and departing for Europe, and France initially, on Wednesday, October 26.

IRELAND V AUSTRALIA – Recent Meetings:

Australia 17 Ireland 16, Telstra Dome, Melbourne, November 2003

Australia 45 Ireland 16, Subiaco Oval, Perth, June 2003

Ireland 18 Australia 9, Lansdowne Road, Dublin, November 2002

Ireland 3 Australia 23, Lansdowne Road, Dublin, October 1999

Australia 32 Ireland 26, Subiaco Oval, Perth, June 1999

Australia 46 Ireland 10, Ballymore, Brisbane, June 1999

AUSTRALIA SQUAD: Al Baxter, Brendan Cannon, Mark Chisolm, Matt Dunning, Rocky Elsom, Scott Fava, David Fitter, Adam Freier, Mark Gerrard, Matt Giteau, George Gregan (Capt), Matt Henjak, Greg Holmes, Leroy Houston, Digby Ioane, Lloyd Johansson, Chris Latham, Hugh McMeniman, Drew Mitchell, Tatafu Polota-Nau, John Roe, Mat Rogers, Wendell Sailor, Nathan Sharpe, Cameron Shepherd, George Smith, Lote Tuqiri, Morgan Turinui, Adam Wallace-Harrison, Phil Waugh, Chris Whitaker.