Lion-tamer Deans casts a wide net

Mon, 14 Jan 2013 11:44
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Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has assembled a 49-man training squad in Sydney in preparation for the British and Irish Lions tour this year.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has assembled a 49-man training squad in Sydney in preparation for the British and Irish Lions tour this year.

Deans has picked 16 players from the Reds, 13 from the Waratahs, eight from both the Brumbies and Rebels and four from the Force for the pre-season get together as anticipation for the tour in June and July mounts.

There is no place for new cross-code recruit Israel Folau, despite Deans being seen having coffee with the former league and AFL star last week, while Brumbies captain Ben Mowen and Waratahs wing Lachie Turner were also overlooked.

Reds utility forward Radike Samo - the only man to have also faced the Lions back in 2001 - and Force scrumhalf Brett Sheehan, both Test players late last season, also miss out, although the vast majority of last year’s Test squad has been retained.

The Wallaby hierarchy were quick to point out that the announcement isn't a definitive selection, though, with Super Rugby form set to ensure that players can easily be promoted or demoted to the panel.

"It doesn't guarantee them anything," said a Wallaby spokesperson as the squad met up in Sydney.

"If you're not here it doesn't mean you're not a Wallaby this year - it comes down to what you do on the field. There's nothing to stop Israel Folau going out there and playing the house down to make the team."

There are seven uncapped players in the party in the form of Rebels centre Mitch Inman, locks Hugh Pyle and Cadeyrn Neville, Reds flank Jake Schatz and utility back Ben Lucas, and Brumbies halfbacks Nic White and Christian Lealiifano, with the latter having spent nine months on the sidelines after his 2012 season was cruelly cut short with a broken ankle.

The inclusion of lock Hugh McMeniman immediately after his return from a three-year spell in Japan has raised a few eyebrows, with the 29-year-old having won the last of his 21 Test caps back in 2008.

Wallaby pre-season squad: Saia Faingaa, James Hanson, James Slipper, James Horwill, Rob Simmons, Jake Schatz, Liam Gill, Will Genia, Ben Lucas, Quade Cooper, Ben Tapaui, Anthony Faingaa, Mike Harris, Dom Shipperley, Digby Ioane, Luke Morahan, Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson, Paddy Ryan, Sekope Kepu, Kane Douglas, Sitaleki Timani, Dave Dennis, Michael Hooper, Wycliff Palu, Berrick Barnes, Rob Horne, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Drew Mitchell, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander, Dan Palmer, David Pocock, Nic White, Christian Lealiifano, Pat McCabe, Joe Tomane, Cadeyrn Neville, Hugh Pyle, Scott Higginbotham, Nick Phipps, Kurtley Beale, James O'Connor, Mitch Inman, Cooper Vuna, Salesi Ma'afu, Hugh McMeniman, Ben McCalman, Nick Cummins.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
BRITISH & IRISH LIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
B&I Lions 0 0 0 0 0
Australia 0 0 0 0 0
Barbarians 0 0 0 0 0
Force 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 0 0 0 0 0
NSW-Queensland 0 0 0 0 0
Blues 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 0 0 0 0 0
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
NZ Barbarians 0 0 0 0 0
Maori All Blacks 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0
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