Australia Names 32-Man Squad for Rugby Championship Next Month
By Justin Noel Cudaihl | July 23, 2014 6:54 PM EST
Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie has named the 32 players that will play for the Wallabies in the 2014 Rugby Championship (TRC) set to start in August.
The line-up will include captain Michael Cooper of the New South Wales Waratahs and 25 from the roster was part of the team that defeated France in June 2014.
"We've come a long way as a group over the past 12 months and the consistency we're now applying across selections, high-performance behaviours and our playing style is a positive sign that we are heading in the right direction," McKenzie said via the official TRC website.
"The challenge for us now is to continue this consistency throughout The Rugby Championship, beginning with a Bledisloe Cup clash against New Zealand."
Australia opens their campaign at home in Sydney on August 16 against New Zealand before traveling to Auckland the following week, August 23. Other teams in the 2014 Rugby Championship are teams from Argentina and South Africa.
The 32-man line-up for Australia:
Props: Ben Alexander, Pek Cowan, Scott Sio, James Slipper and Sekope Kepu
Hookers: Nathan Charles, Tatafu Polota-Nau and James Hanson
Centres: Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Leali'ifan and Matt Toomua
Back-three: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Pat McCabe and Joe Tomane, Henry Speight, Israel Fola and Rob Horne.
Locks: James Horwill, Rob Simmons, Sam Carter and Will Skelton
Back-rowers: Scott Fardy, Scott Higginbotham, Matt Hodgson and Michael Hooper
Fly-halves: Kurtley Beale and Bernard Foley
Scrum-halves: Ben McCalman, Wycliff Palu, Nic White, Luke Burgess and Nick Phipps
Previously known as the Tri Nations tournament from 1996 to 2011, the tournament became The Rugby Championship when Argentina joined the competition in 2012. Historically, New Zealand has dominated this tournament with 12 titles (10 Tri Nations and 2 TRC) while Australia and South Africa having three championships each.
New Zealand is looking to further stamp their class with their third straight TRC title.
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