Wallabies call in reinforcements
Fri, 31 Aug 2012 07:08
Australia won their last four Tests against South Africa
Waratahs prop Paddy Ryan and Western Force wing Nick Cummins have been added to the Wallabies training group which will assemble in Perth on Sunday ahead of the resumption of the Rugby Championship.
The pair have both previously been involved with the Wallabies this year, although Ryan missed some training time due to injury.
A squad of 31 has been named with Queensland Reds wing Dominic Shipperley and his state colleague, midfield back Ben Tapuai, both coming into the enlarged main group after previously having trained alongside the squad.
The addition of Cummins and Shipperley bolsters the side's wing resources after the loss this week of experienced wing Drew Mitchell most likely for the season due to a reoccurring ankle tendon injury.
Uncapped Queensland Reds loose forward Jake Schatz has also been ruled out due to a shoulder problem and will undergo further scans before a course of rehabilitation is charted.
Brumbies inside centre Pat McCabe makes a welcome return, after injury ruled him out of the two Bledisloe Cup Tests which opened the Rugby Championship. He is continuing rehabilitation from the stress fracture in his foot. While the injury is progressing well, he won't be considered for selection until Australia's match against Argentina at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast on September 15 at the earliest.
Six players - Caderyn Neville, Radike Samo, Mike Harris, Rob Simmons, Saia Fainga'a and Ben Tapuai, will tune up for their commitments in Perth playing club rugby in their home states Saturday. That opportunity was denied other fringe members outside of the recent Test squad due to a lack of available games for their respective clubs.
Although the Wallabies will arrive in Western Australia on Sunday and hold an open training on Monday, the matchday squad of 22 players for the Perth Test will not be named until Tuesday.
The Wallabies face the Springboks at Patterson's Stadium next Saturday, September 8, bidding to defend the Nelson Mandela Challenge Plate, which Australia has held since the epic 41-39 win over South Africa at Bloemfontein in 2010. This was the Wallabies' first success at a Highveld venue in the Republic for 47 years.
Australia won their last four Tests against South Africa and will set a new record for the most consecutive wins achieved against the Springboks should the Wallabies win in Perth.
Robbie Deans' men currently stand tied with the class of 1999 and 2000 which also won four straight against the Boks.
The South African squad, under new coach Heyneke Meyer, also arrives in Perth on Sunday.
The Boks are unbeaten for the year, having won twice against England in June, and once against Argentina, while also drawing a match with both nations.
After a win and a draw in the back-to-back matches against Argentina to open the Rugby Championship, South Africa sits second on the standings behind New Zealand.
South Africa boasts an excellent record from Tests in Perth, which houses a large expatriate South African community, with the Springboks having gained wins from Tests played against the Wallabies in Western Australia in 1998, 2005 and 2009, while the 2001 match was drawn.
Australia won the matches played in 2004 and 2008.
No more than seven points have separated the two sides across the six Tests played between the teams in Western Australia since SANZAR competition began via the kick-off of the Tri-Nations in 1996.
Australian squad: Adam Ashley-Cooper (NSW Waratahs), Kurtley Beale (Melbourne Rebels), Digby Ioane (Queensland Reds), Dominic Shipperley (Queensland Reds), Nick Cummins (Western Force), Rob Horne (NSW Waratahs), Ben Tapuai (Queensland Reds), Anthony Fainga'a (Queensland Reds), Mike Harris (Queensland Reds), Pat McCabe (Brumbies), Berrick Barnes (NSW Waratahs), Quade Cooper (Queensland Reds), Nick Phipps (Melbourne Rebels), Will Genia (Queensland Reds, captain), Scott Higginbotham (Queensland Reds), Radike Samo (Queensland Reds), Michael Hooper (Brumbies), Liam Gill (Queensland Reds), Dave Dennis (NSW Waratahs), Rob Simmons (Queensland Reds), Nathan Sharpe (Western Force), Kane Douglas (NSW Waratahs), Caderyn Neville (Melbourne Rebels), Sitaleki Timani (NSW Waratahs), Ben Alexander (Brumbies), Paddy Ryan (NSW Waratahs), James Slipper (Queensland Reds), Benn Robinson (NSW Waratahs), Saia Fainga'a (Queensland Reds), Stephen Moore (Brumbies), Tatafu Polota Nau (NSW Waratahs).
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