Wallabies Announce Squad To Face Springboks

The Wallabies have followed up from yet another Bledisloe Cup defeat by naming a fresh-faced 30-man squad to face the visiting South Africa in Perth next week.

Headlining the changes is the debut of the uncapped Kyle Goodwin, replacing the injured and likely retiring Pat McCabe while injured hooker Nathan Charles has been swapped out for Tatafu Polota-Nau.

Goodwin, an emerging star with the Western Force, will make a home town debut after 24-Test veteran McCabe sustained a serious neck injury, his third fracture in the past two years, in the Wallabies’ embarrassing 51-20 defeat in New Zealand last weekend.

“Kyle is someone who has been on the national radar for some time, but unfortunately hasn’t had much of an opportunity to join the Wallabies environment due to injury,” coach Ewen McKenzie said.

“He now gets his chance to join the squad, and we’ll look forward to learning more about him.”

A pectoral injury will sideline Charles for the remainder of the Rugby Championship, allowing Polota-Nau to make his Wallabies return, but his ongoing knee rehabilitation means that won’t likely occur until the Australia face Argentina on September 13.

In the meantime, James Hanson and Saia Faingaa will fill in as hookers with Western Force second option Heath Tessman also training with the squad.

“We don’t hide from the fact that our performance against New Zealand was well below our own expectations, which was especially disappointing considering the momentum we had created since last year’s Spring Tour,” he said.

“We’ll address that and then get on with preparing for what will be a very tough battle against South Africa next Saturday night.”

Wallabies squad:

Backs – Israel Folau, Peter Betham, Rob Horne, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Toomua, Kyle Godwin, Christian Leali’ifano, Kurtley Beale, Bernard Foley, Nic White, Nick Phipps, Luke Burgess

Forwards – Wycliff Palu, Ben McCalman, Michael Hooper (c), Matt Hodgson, Scott Higginbotham, Scott Fardy, Rob Simmons, James Horwill, Sam Carter, Will Skelton, Sekope Kepu, Ben Alexander, James Slipper, Pek Cowan, James Hanson, Saia Fainga’a, Tatafu Polota-Nau

Photo: Greg Wood/Getty Images


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