Giteau, Mitchell among 40-man Wallabies squad
ESPN Staff
July 2, 2015
Drew Mitchell happy to be back

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has enacted the Australian Rugby Union's new overseas player policy and recalled both Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell to his Rugby Championship squad.

The Toulon-based duo were on Thursday named as part of 40-man squad for the opening Tests against South Africa and Argentina in Brisbane and Mendoza, respectively.

Cheika has also included four uncapped players in impressive young Reds centre Samu Kerevi, Waratahs winger Taqele Naiyaravoro, Brumbies lock Rory Arnold and New Zealand-born prop Toby Smith. Naiyaravoro had been the subject of a "Tug-O-War" battle between Fiji and Australia; the winger had hinted he was leaning towards the Wallabies, leaving Cheika to swoop.

"The extended squad gives the new coaching staff a great opportunity to observe and test some new combinations," Cheika said via an ARU press release. "Off the field, this group has been working very hard and I'm very pleased for our new players entering the Wallabies environment.

"We're fortunate enough to see some experience enter the squad from both Super Rugby and overseas. It is important we get them connected to the Wallabies culture as soon as possible. We are expecting a pretty physical week ahead in Caloundra, and we will look to shave down the squad closer to Test week when we arrive in Brisbane to take on the Springboks."

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The biggest omissions came in the form of veteran props Benn Robinson and Ben Alexander, Reds utility James O'Connor and cult hero Nick Cummins. O'Connor and Cummins had returned from Toulon and Japan, respectively, in a bid to make the World Cup squad but an array of talent in the outside backs has seen both players overlooked.

The naming of Giteau and Mitchell came as little surprise, particularly after the 63-Test winger had tweeted a picture of the duo en route to Australia at the start of the week. The ARU's change in policy had originally been dubbed "Giteau's law" but such was Mitchell's form at the end of European season that he has rocketed into contention for a start on the wing against the Springboks. The selection of recently returned Waratahs second-rower Dean Mumm came as a shock, although the veteran lock had enjoyed a fine season with Exeter.

Cheika didn't name a captain but is on record as saying it will come from either incumbent Michael Hooper or hooker Stephen Moore.

Backs: Adam Ashley-Cooper (Wallabies), Kurtley Beale (Waratahs), Quade Cooper (Reds), Israel Folau (Waratahs), Bernard Foley (Waratahs), Will Genia (Reds), Matt Giteau (Toulon, France), Rob Horne (Waratahs), Samu Kerevi (Reds), Tevita Kuridrani (Brumbies), Christian Leali'ifano (Brumbies), Drew Mitchell (Toulon, France), Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs), Nick Phipps (Waratahs), Henry Speight (Brumbies), Matt Toomua (Brumbies), Joe Tomane (Brumbies), Nic White (Brumbies)

Forwards: Rory Arnold (Brumbies), Dave Dennis (Waratahs), James Hanson (Reds), Scott Fardy (Brumbies), Tetera Faulkner (Force), Scott Higginbotham (Rebels), Greg Holmes (Reds), Michael Hooper (Waratahs), James Horwill (Reds), Sekope Kepu (Waratahs), Stephen Moore (Brumbies), Ben McCalman (Force), Dean Mumm (Waratahs), David Pocock (Brumbies), Wycliff Palu (Waratahs), Tatafu Polota-Nau (Waratahs), Scott Sio (Brumbies), Rob Simmons (Reds), Will Skelton (Waratahs), James Slipper (Reds), Toby Smith (Rebels)

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