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Waratahs for the Wallabies - Rugby Union

Source from www.nswrugby.com.au/MediaExtranet/News/2009/May/NineHSBCWaratahsnamedinWallabiessquad.aspx of NSWrugby.com.au


The HSBC Waratahs have been rewarded for their season as the most successful Australian Super 14 side, making up almost one-third of the first Wallaby squad selected for 2009.

The HSBC Waratahs have been rewarded for their season as the most successful Australian Super 14 side, making up almost one-third of the first Wallaby squad selected for 2009.

Nine NSW players have earned selection in the national squad, with Wycliff Palu a notable omission due to a broken hand sustained on the recent tour to South Africa. Palu will be out for up to a month.

The much-heralded HSBC Waratahs front row of Benn Robinson, Tatafu Polota-Nau and Al Baxter all earned selection along with fellow forwards Dean Mumm and captain Phil Waugh.

2008 Wallaby debutants Luke Burgess, Lachie Turner and Timana Tahu have all again been included along with Lote Tuqiri.

In an indication of how strong the HSBC Waratahs squad is, Wallabies coach Robbie Deans emphasised that Sekope Kepu, Matt Dunning and Adam Freier would all be closely monitored in their comebacks from injury with a view to including them in the national squad should fitness and form in the Tooheys New Shute Shield warrant selection.

"We will be continuing with the practice of releasing players not in our match day squad to club rugby each weekend, and we will certainly be keeping an eye on the progress of the guys who are coming back from injury," said Deans.

"In the cases of Kepu, Dunning, Freier... they need Rugby and they will get that playing for their clubs."

While Waugh has been included in the Wallabies' squad, he is being released to appear for the Barbarians in their upcoming matches against England and Australia.

This means he will play against his team-mates at the Sydney Football Stadium on 6 June, but Deans is happy with that prospect, saying Waugh's contribution to Australian Rugby had earned him the right to take up the prestigious Barbarians invitation.

Manly flanker George Smith (96 caps) is the only player in the squad with more Wallaby appearances than Waugh (77 caps).

"Phil was keen to play; he'd been invited and earned that honour. We see it as a win-win," Deans says.

"He is getting exposure in two more top class games, and will be going head-to-head with the other flankers in our squad which is a great result for us."

Australia kicks off the 2009 international season against the Barbarians in Sydney before hosting a two-match series against Italy at Canberra on 13 June, and Melbourne on 20 June.

The focus will then switch back to Sydney and a Test against a full-strength French side on 27 June at ANZ Stadium.

The selectors will then review all of their options before naming a side for the 14th annual Tri-Nations series through July, August and September.

2009 WALLABY SQUAD
Backs: Adam Ashley Cooper (Brumbies), Berrick Barnes (Reds), Luke Burgess (HSBC Waratahs), Quade Cooper (Reds), Ryan Cross (Force), Matt Giteau (Force), Peter Hynes (Reds), Drew Mitchell (Force), Stirling Mortlock [c] (Brumbies), James O'Connor (Force), Timana Tahu (HSBC Waratahs), Lote Tuqiri (HSBC Waratahs), Lachie Turner (HSBC Waratahs), Josh Valentine (Force).

Forwards:
Ben Alexander (Brumbies), Al Baxter (HSBC Waratahs), Richard Brown (Force), Pek Cowan (Force), Matt Hodgson (Force), James Horwill (Reds), Peter Kimlin (Brumbies), Stephen Moore (Reds), Dean Mumm (HSBC Waratahs), David Pocock (Force), Tatafu Polota-Nau (HSBC Waratahs), Benn Robinson (HSBC Waratahs), Nathan Sharpe (Force), George Smith (Brumbies), Phil Waugh (HSBC Waratahs).

 

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