Four new faces for Wallabies
August 30, 2000

Queensland flyer Ben Tune is expected to be fit for the Wallabies' season ending tour of France, Scotland and England starting in October.

There were fears Tune faced another long stint on the sidelines after sustaining an ankle injury against the Springboks in Durban last Saturday. However, Tune was today named in the 27-man squad along with four debutants.

Brumbies flanker George Smith and prop Bill Young, Waratahs flanker Phil Waugh and Reds prop Nick Stiles are the new faces in the squad as the Wallabies enter a new era with the retirement of several key players at the weekend.

Veterans David Wilson, Jason Little, Richard Harry and Tim Horan ended their decade-long playing associations with the Wallabies in Durban opening the way for Wallaby management to start its preparations for the defence of the World Cup in 2003.

Smith and Waugh were earmarked for Wallaby selection after an outstanding Super 12 season, and particularly after Wilson announced his retirement. Young and Stiles will join the Reds' Glen Panoho and Fletcher Dyson, who made his debut earlier this year against Argentina, as the new muscle in the Wallaby front-row following the departures of Andrew Blades, Richard Harry, Dan Crowley and Patricio Noriego.

"The departure of Horan, Little, Wilson and Harry at the end of this domestic season has removed a core of 271 caps from the team," ARU Managing Director John O'Neill said. "But we planned for these departures with the introduction of new players into the squad. It's not going to be easy, but the process can be carefully managed.

"This year Stirling Mortlock was given his chance and scored 122 points in 7 games. Fletcher Dyson stepped up against the best scrums in the business this season and didn't take a backwards step."

Injured fullback Matt Burke is hopeful of finally winning a Wallaby recall during the tour after suffering a frustrating ankle injury during the Super 12. In a clear sign of the shift in rugby power in Australia, Burke is just one of three NSW Waratahs in the squad of 27 with Waugh and second-rower Tom Bowman named.

Former Wallaby fullback Glen Ella has replaced Tim Lane as the backs coach.

The four-game tour goes from October 25 to November 19. They meet France in a repeat of the World Cup final at Stade de France in Paris on November 4, followed by Scotland at Edinburgh's Murrayfield on November 11 and finally England at Twickenham on November 18.

Forwards: Tom Bowman, Matt Cockbain, Mark Connors, Fletcher Dyson, John Eales (captain) Michael Foley, David Giffin, Toutai Kefu, Glenn Panoho, Jeremy Paul, George Smith, Nick Stiles, Phil Waugh, Jim Williams, Bill Young

Backs: Matthew Burke, Sam Cordingley, Elton Flatley, George Gregan (vice captain), Dan Herbert, Rod Kafer, Stephen Larkham, Chris Latham, Stirling Mortlock, Joe Roff, Ben Tune, Andrew Walker.

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