Wallabies call up James Hanson over Saia Fainga'a
June 9, 2014
James Hanson is selected ahead of Queensland Reds team-mate Saia Fainga'a © Getty Images
The Wallabies have added Queensland Reds hooker James Hanson to their training squad to replace injured skipper Stephen Moore - with Ewen McKenzie pulling a slight surprise by overlooking Saia Fainga'a, who played on the end-of-year tour of Europe.
Ewen McKenzie pleased with performace%]
Moore is sidelined for the rest of the year after rupturing anterior cruciate and medial ligaments in his left knee during the 50-23 win over France in the first Test at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday night.
Hanson, who has one Test cap, is unlikely to travel to Melbourne with the Wallabies squad on Wednesday for the second Test at Etihad Stadium, as McKenzie is taking just 24 players to Melbourne. Hence, Western Force rake Nathan Charles, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, is virtually certainty to make his Test debut off the bench behind Tatafu Polota-Nau.
Flanker Michael Hooper is set to be officially appointed as Moore's replacement as captain on Monday, having led the team for 75 minutes at Suncorp Stadium, scoring a try and shining in attack and defence. The New South Wales Waratahs breakaway, 22, became the youngest Wallabies skipper in 67 years, following in the footsteps of Trevor Allan in 1947, with front-rower James Slipper saying the 2013 John Eales Medal winner had the full respect and admiration of the playing group.
"He's a well-respected player in the team and he's an up-and-coming player who's winning all these accolades for himself," Slipper said. "He's one of those players that players vote as the best player … you want those blokes leading and he's a lead-by-example-type player."
Australia 50-23 France (video available only in Australia)