4 Aug 2017

Cheika springs surprises for Wallabies

4:04 pm on 4 August 2017

Former NRL stars Curtis Rona and Marika Koroibete are among seven uncapped players named in the Wallabies squad for the opening Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship Test against New Zealand later this month.

Rona and his Western Force centre partner Billy Meakes have each earned a first callup, while Melbourne Rebels winger Koroibete went on last year's spring tour but didn't get a Test cap.

The fourth new back that Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has included is Queensland Reds' outside back Izaia Perese.

Michael Cheika

Michael Cheika Photo: Photosport

He is joined in the squad by Reds teammates in lock Izack Rodda, and back rower Adam Korczyk, both of whom are also vying for a first Test cap.

With Tolu Latu injured, Rebels hooker Jordan Ueelse is the bolter in the squad.

There are recalls for 2015 World Cup final starting locks Rob Simmons and Kane Douglas, who were both omitted from the June Tests squad.

Also back in the main squad is Force prop Tetera Faulkner, who played his two Tests back in 2014.

Halfback Will Genia and first five-eight Bernard Foley are the new vice-captains.

Squad: Forwards: Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Jack Dempsey, Kane Douglas, Tetera Faulkner, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper (capt), Sekope Kepu, Adam Korczyk, Sean McMahon, Stephen Moore, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson, Izack Rodda, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Lopeti Timani, Jordan Uelese. Backs: Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Tevita Kuridrani, Billy Meakes, Izaia Perese Nick Phipps, Joe Powell, Curtis Rona, Henry Speight.