Deans names first Wallabies squad
June 2, 2008

The Wallabies have today announced a 30-man squad for the 2008 Bundaberg Rum Rugby Series - with seven new faces included.

The Wallabies have today announced a 30-man squad for the 2008 Bundaberg Rum Rugby Series - with seven new faces included.

Assembling in Sydney tomorrow to begin preparations for the opening Test of the season against Ireland at Melbourne's Telstra Dome on Saturday 14 June, the squad unveiling coincides with the arrival of new Qantas Wallabies coach Robbie Deans.

Waratahs Luke Burgess, Dean Mumm and Lachie Turner join Western Force duo Ryan Cross and Richard Brown, Queensland Reds winger Peter Hynes and the squad bolter - rookie Brumbies prop Ben Alexander - as the uncapped players in the squad.

There is a strong contingent of NSW Waratahs players, with 13 in all earning selection after Australia's best-performed province reached the final of the Investec Super 14.

The Queensland Reds have six representatives in the Qantas Wallabies squad, including the oldest player in 32-year-old Sam Cordingley.

The Brumbies have also provided six players while five have been drawn from the Perth-based Western Force.

Several players from last year's World Cup squad were not considered because of injury - Dan Vickerman, Chris Latham, Drew Mitchell, Scott Staniforth, Hugh McMeniman and Greg Holmes.

Vickerman will be sidelined for six weeks due to an ankle injury requiring surgery.

After flying into Sydney this morning to take up his new position, Deans was looking forward to starting work with the Qantas Wallabies, whose opening training session for the season will be staged tomorrow afternoon at Manly Oval.

"I'm delighted to be here," he said.

"This is an exciting opportunity and a new challenge - taking on the role as Head Coach of the Qantas Wallabies.

"It is also an honour. Australia has a rich Rugby history that includes winning the World Cup twice.

"My aim is to make a significant contribution to what is already a proud Wallabies heritage.

"There are a lot of new faces in this squad, in both the playing ranks and the coaching staff.

"I look forward to working with the entire team ahead of our first assignment against Ireland in Melbourne.

"Our ultimate goal is the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, but that is a long way into the future.

"In the interim there is a lot of hard work to be done."

Stirling Mortlock retains the Wallabies captaincy.

"It's the start of a new era, with a new coach and many new faces within the squad," said Mortlock.

"With a few senior players from the World Cup no longer with us, there are challenges ahead, but we're really looking forward to working hard with Robbie and getting results".

The Wallabies will play 14 Tests this year, including nine winter Tests.

Six of them will be played in Australia as part of the 2008 Bundaberg Rum Rugby Series, with two against France (in Sydney and Brisbane), two against New Zealand (also in Sydney and Brisbane), a Test against Ireland for the Lansdowne Cup in Melbourne, and a Tri-Nations meeting with the World Cup champions South Africa in Perth.

The three away Tri Nations matches, all in August, include two against the Springboks in South Africa and a Bledisloe Cup game with New Zealand in Auckland.

Later in the year, the Wallabies will play a fourth Bledisloe Cup match against the All Blacks in Hong Kong en route to a Spring Tour of Europe where a further five matches - four Tests and a game against the Barbarians - are on the program.

2008 Qantas Wallabies Squad Notes
+ Over half (16 of 30) of the 2008 Squad have played in 10 or more Test Matches.
+ Seven players have more than 50 Test caps.
+ Scrumhalf Sam Cordingley is the oldest member of the Squad at 32, while the youngest is Waratahs winger Lachie Turner at 21.
+ Provincial split: 13 players from NSW Waratahs, six each from Queensland Reds and Brumbies and five from Western Force.

Wallabies squad:

Forwards: Ben Alexander, Al Baxter, Richard Brown, MarkChisholm, Matt Dunning, Rocky Elsom, Adam Freier, Stephen Hoiles,James Horwill, Stephen Moore, Dean Mumm, Wycliff Paul, Tatafu
Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson, Nathan Sharpe, George Smith, Phil Waugh.

Backs: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Berrick Barnes, Luke Burgess, SamCordingley, Ryan Cross, Matt Giteau, Peter Hynes, Digby Ioane,Stirling (c) Mortlock, Brett Sheehan, Cameron Shepherd, Lote Tuqiri, Lachie Turner.

Players also not considered for selection in the Qantas Wallabies squad or Australia A squad due to injury:
Tom Carter, Dayna Edwards, Scott Fava, Tom Hockings, Tamaiti Horua, Skope Kepu, Christian Lealiifano, John Roe, Clinton Schifcofske, Brando Va'aulu

2008 Qantas Wallabies Fixtures

Bundaberg Rum Rugby Series - Domestic
June 14 v Ireland at Telstra Dome, Melbourne
June 28 v France at ANZ Stadium, Sydney
July 5 v France at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
July 19 v South Africa at Subiaco Oval, Perth
July 26 v New Zealand at ANZ Stadium, Sydney
September 13 v New Zealand at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Tri Nations - International
August 2 v New Zealand at Eden Park, Auckland
August 23 v South Africa at ABSA Stadium, Durban
August 30 v South Africa at Ellis Park Johannesburg

Spring Tour
November 1 v New Zealand at Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong
November 8 v Italy at Stadio Euganeo, Padova
November 15 v England at Twickenham, London
November 22 v France at Stade de France, Paris
November 29 v Wales at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
December 3 v Barbarians at Wembley, London


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