Petaia gets nod in Wallabies' Cup squad

25 Août, 2019, 15:40 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Petaia gets nod in Wallabies' Cup squad

Japan will be Hooper's second appearance at the World Cup while 18 players could make their World Cup debuts.

Evergreen Adam Ashley-Cooper and fledgeling Jordan Petaia have bolted into the most experienced Australian squad ever named to contest a Rugby World Cup.

Highly fancied Petaia is the only untested player in a seasoned squad captained by flanker Michael Hooper and boasting 1,406 caps of test experience, 200 more than the roster for the 2015 tournament.

At the other end of the spectrum is uncapped Queensland Reds back Petaia, a selection based on raw attacking potential.

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

Kurtley Beale, 30, is chosen at fullback in the absence of Israel Folau, who was sacked earlier this year, with Dane Haylett-Petty, 30, in as back-up.

The dynamic Petaia can play from the wing or outside the centre, but his inclusion carries some risk after he missed much of the Super Rugby season with injury.

This comes less than a week after the All Blacks avenged their unexpected defeat in Perth with an emphatic 36-0 victory at Eden Park - in the process retaining the Bledisloe Cup for a 16th straight year.

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"We've become a really tight group and it was a very hard process in picking only 31 players, but I know each player selected will travel to Japan with the full support of those teammates who won't board the flight", said Cheika.

He also promised to play an "unpredictable" brand of rugby in Japan.

Australia will have a 10-day camp in New Caledonia before they take on Samoa in their final World Cup warm-up game in Parramatta on 7th October.

"At the World Cup, every game is a grand final". And how you approach that- you don't look any further down the road that what's in front of you'.

Adam Ashley-Cooper will feature in his fourth World Cup after playing in 2007, 2011 and 2015 editions and with 17 games in the past editions combined, he is just five behind New Zealand's all-time leaders Jason Leonard and Richie McCaw.

The 31-year-old shared footage on Twitter and Instagram of his calf being tested out in the gym while strapped up, which will be encouraging to all Australia fans ahead of their opening World Cup pool match on September 21 against Fiji in Sapporo.

Asked what his message was to the team in Japan, skipper Hooper said: "Make it count".

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