Waratahs rewarded for strong Super 14
June 11, 2008

The Waratahs have been rewarded for reaching the final of the Super 14 by having ten players selected in the Wallabies squad to take on Ireland in Melbourne on Saturday.

Six players have been picked in the starting line-up, while another four have been included on the bench.

Eight Waratahs forwards will pull on the gold jersey against Ireland in Melbourne on Saturday, while scrum-half Luke Burgess and versatile forward Dean Mumm will make their first Test appearances.

New Wallaby coach Robbie Deans said had no qualms in selecting Burgess and Mumm, who together with Reds back Peter Hynes and Force centre Ryan cross are the Wallabies four debutants in the opening match of the season.

"We said, when we selected our initial squad, that we saw all of the players as being ready to go, and our selection of four new caps today follows through on that philosophy," Dean says.

Having not started a Super Rugby match before 2008, Burgess takes his place in the Test team having featured in 13 of the Waratahs 15 matches this season earning the No.9 jersey for the final nine matches.

Mumm gains his first cap after coming of age as a lock/backrower in 2008. With the experience of plenty of game time in 2007 due to season-ending injuries to Dan Vickerman and Al Kanaar, Mumm stepped up this season to become a valuable and versatile member of Waratahs pack which led the team to the Super 14 final.

After having to force his way back into the Waratahs 22 during the year, Benn Robinson has been rewarded for his hard work by returning to the Wallabies at loosehead prop, while Matt Dunning's switch to tighthead has resulted in him earning the Wallaby No.3 jersey.

Blindside flanker Rocky Elsom and No.8 Wycliff Palu have maintained their places in the Wallaby backrow, while all reserve forwards for the Ireland Test are Waratahs: Adam Freier, Al Baxter, Phil Waugh and Mumm.

If Baxter takes the field he will earn his 52nd Test cap, making him the Wallabies most capped prop of all-time.

Brett Sheehan (Warringah), Lachie Turner (Eastwood) and Ben Alexander (Northern Suburbs) have all been released from the Wallaby squad to earn valuable game time in this weekend's Tooheys New Shute Shield local derby round.

© Scrum.com

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