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Emirates Western Force winger Nick Cummins and NSW Waratahs prop Paddy Ryan are the only uncapped players named in the 28-man Wallabies squad for The Rugby Championship away leg confirmed today.
Cummins and Ryan, who both featured in last weekend’s Shute Shield final in NSW club rugby, have trained with the national squad throughout the Rugby Championship without being required to don a jersey on match night.
The squad, which departs in the morning, is missing flyhalf Quade Cooper, who was last night ruled out by a knee cartilage injury which will require an operation.
The group does include the previously injured trio of hooker Stephen Moore (hamstring), lock Sitaleki Timani (hamstring) and winger Dominic Shipperley (dislocated finger).
All three players are expected to be available for selection for the match night squad for Australia’s first match on the tour, which comes against South Africa at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, on Saturday September 29.
The Wallabies will be bidding for back-to-back wins on the South African high veldt in that match, having clinched an epic 41-39 win at their last attempt at Bloemfontein in 2010, which represented Australia’s first win at altitude in the Republic for 47 years.
Shipperley, who underwent a finger operation on the middle finger of his right hand on Sunday after injuring it in the Test on the Gold Coast the week before, will travel with the squad in the morning.
Three players who won’t are centre Ben Tapuai, inside centre Mike Harris and second row Rob Simmons who have been released to participate in Sunday’s Brisbane club final between University and Sunnybank.
Once through that match, the trio will join the squad in Johannesburg next Tuesday.
The Wallabies squad for the two-game tour of South Africa and Argentina in The Rugby Championship is: Adam Ashley-Cooper (NSW Waratahs), Kurtley Beale (Melbourne Rebels), Digby Ioane (Queensland Reds), Dominic Shipperley (Queensland Reds), Nick Cummins (Emirates Western Force), Ben Tapuai (Queensland Reds), Anthony Fainga’a (Queensland Reds), Pat McCabe (Brumbies), Berrick Barnes (NSW Waratahs), Mike Harris (Queensland Reds), Nick Phipps (Melbourne Rebels), Brett Sheehan (Emirates Western Force), 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 (Emirates Western Force), Kane Douglas (NSW Waratahs), 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).