Australia World Cup squad
September 4, 2003

Australia have announced their World Cup squad with with Queensland Reds' back row forward John Roe being named as replacement for the injured Toutai Kefu.

Coach Eddie Jones as expected has selected the uncapped Roe as a replacement for injured No.8 Toutai Kefu who was ruled out of contention earlier this week. Veteran flanker Owen Finegan was the biggest omission from the Cup squad announced in Sydney today.

George Gregan will lead the 30-man squad that also includes uncapped prop forward Matt Dunning.

Jones said at today's announcement in Coogee that selecting this squad was the toughest job of his rugby career.

Jones also axed inside centre Steve Kefu and props Patricio Noriega and Glen Panoho from the 30-man squad that will attempt to become the first side to successfully retain the World Cup.

There were also recalls for Nathan Grey and loose forward Matt Cockbain.

Cockbain's selection comes just 48 hours after his brother Brent was named in the Welsh World Cup squad.

Grey was dropped from the Wallabies after filling in at five-eighth against England earlier this season when Elton Flatley was suspended and Stephen Larkham injured.

Also back in favour is outside centre Morgan Turinui, lock Justin Harrison while Joe Roff and Stirling Mortlock make expected returns from injury.

"The most difficult choice was omitting Owen Finegan," Jones told the ARU's official website.

"Owen's been a great servant for the Wallabies but we've given him every opportunity to recapture top form since returning from a shoulder injury, unfortunately it wasn't enough."

Finegan though, along with Steve Kefu and Patricio Noriega will form the core of a shadow squad that will train alongside the World Cup group.

"This year was all about giving guys opportunities to press for World Cup selection," added Jones.

"Everyone in this squad has been involved with the Wallabies or Australia A this year and although some have not played a Test for a while we are fully aware of their capabilities when you look at players like Nathan Grey and Matt Cockbain for example."

The Wallabies will hold camps in Manly and Darwin over the coming weeks before assembling for the final time in Coffs Harbour on September 26th.

Australian World Cup squad:

Backs: Matthew Burke, Elton Flatley (vc), Matt Giteau, George Gregan (c), Nathan Grey, Stephen Larkham, Chris Latham, Stirling Mortlock, Joe Roff, Mat Rogers, Wendell Sailor, Lote Tuqiri, Morgan Turinui, Chris Whitaker.

Forwards: Al Baxter, Brendan Cannon, Matt Cockbain, David Croft, Ben Darwin, Matt Dunning, David Giffin (vc), Justin Harrison, David Lyons, Jeremy Paul, John Roe, Nathan Sharpe, George Smith, Daniel Vickerman, Phil Waugh, Bill Young.

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