Rugby Championship
Palu, Leali'ifano key exclusions from Wallabies squad
July 10, 2015
George Gregan named Luke Jones and Sean McMahon in his Wallabies squad

Wycliff Palu and Christian Leali'ifano are the highest-profile omissions from the 31-man Wallabies squad announced on Friday ahead of the Rugby Championship opener.

Dave Dennis, James Hanson, Tetera Faulkner, Toby Smith, Samu Kerevi, Henry Speight and Nic White were also omitted from the initial 40-man squad that has been in camp ahead of the Test against South Africa at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday week.

Australia's Wycliff Palu runs the ball, Australia v France, Allianz Stadium, Sydney, June 21, 2014
Wycliff Palu is likely to be recalled after having his workload managed © Getty Images

Palu is expected to play some part in the abbreviated Rugby Championship, but Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said he was managing the workload of some players with a view to a long season culminating in the Rugby World Cup.

"There were obviously some really tough calls to make," Cheika said. "The players who have not been named in this 31-man squad will still remain part of the group and will continue to contribute. We have also taken the opportunity to rest players, as we know it is going to be a long international season."

Brumbies second-rower Rory Arnold and Waratahs winger Taqele Naiyaravoro are the two players most likely to make their Wallabies debut against the Springboks.

France-based pair Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell were the key inclusions as they push for international recalls after the Australian Rugby Union's change in eligibilitycriteria.

Wallabies squad: Rory Arnold, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Kurtley Beale, Quade Cooper, Scott Fardy, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Matt Giteau, Scott Higginbotham, Greg Holmes, Michael Hooper, Rob Horne, James Horwill, Sekope Kepu, Tevita Kuridrani, Stephen Moore, Drew Mitchell, Ben McCalman, Sean McMahon, Dean Mumm, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Nick Phipps, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Scott Sio, Rob Simmons, Will Skelton, James Slipper, Matt Toomua, Joe Tomane.


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