Squad shock: New Wallabies coach wields the axe, picks rookies

New Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has announced his preliminary squad for the 2020 international season, and it’s full of shock selections across the board – with one World Cup starter not even making the cut. See the full squad here.

Rennie included 16 uncapped players in an expanded 44-man roster, but surprisingly left out Naisarani, who was an automatic choice in the Australian Test side last year.

Of the 16 new faces selected – eight made their Super Rugby debuts this season in a clear sign that Rennie is gambling on the next generation – by picking promising youngsters including Will Harrison, Noah Lolesio and Harry Wilson.

The Brumbies – who will host Queensland in Saturday’s Super Rugby AU final, had 13 players selected, while Queensland and New South Wales each had 11 and Melbourne nine. No-one from the Western Force was selected.

Rennie also has the option of adding two more players from overseas clubs under the Giteau Law.

“This is a really exciting day for us. 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,” Rennie said.

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“When we picked the squad, we had to consider how we will handle the rigours of the Test calendar ahead. 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.”

The full squad will convene next Monday following the Super Rugby AU final.

The Wallabies will play two Bledisloe Cup Tests in New Zealand in October before returning to Australia for the Rugby Championship in November and December. The dates and venues for the Test season will be announced in the next few weeks.

Wallabies squad for 2020 Test season

(Test caps, Super Rugby side and age)

Jermaine Ainsley (3 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 25)

Allan Alaalatoa (37 Tests, Brumbies)

Tom Banks (6 Tests, Brumbies, 26)

Angus Bell* (uncapped, NSW Waratahs, 19)

Filipo Daugunu* (uncapped, Queensland Reds, 25)

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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 Koroibete (28 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 28)

Noah Lolesio* (uncapped, Brumbies, 20)

Jack Maddocks (7 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 23)

Tate McDermott* (uncapped, Queensland Reds, 21)

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, 23)

Pete Samu (9 Tests, Brumbies, 28)

Rob Simmons (100 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 31)

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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, 20)

Liam Wright (2 Tests, Queensland Reds, 22)

Tom Wright* (uncapped, Brumbies, 23)

*Denotes uncapped player

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