Michael Cheika cuts six from Wallabies squad
Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika has confirmed that six players have been released from the squad
Australia has a three-test series against England, starting a week on Saturday
Rebels utility back Reece Hodge is the surprise inclusion in the 33-man squad
Reece Hodge was the shock selection after Michael Cheika cuts six names from the extended training squad.
Cheika has named seven potential debutants in the squad for the first Test after a gruelling training camp on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
James Hanson, Adam Coleman, Liam Gill, Eto Nabuli, Joe Powell and Leroy Houston are the players left out from Cheika’s initial squad.
“We had a great week in Caloundra and the competition for spots has been intense during each of the sessions,” Head Coach Michael Cheika said.
“All of the players in the broader squad will be picked at some point during the series and I know that any of them could step in if asked at anytime.”
The announcement caps a whirlwind week for Melbourne Rebels young gun Hodge who was a late call-up as injury cover for Rebels teammate Mike Harris.
“Reece has really impressed me this week after being thrown into the deep end,” Cheika said.
“It’s not just about being in the environment for him now and I know he’ll be pushing for selection in the match day 23.”
The rejuvenated squad features 22 members of the Wallabies’ 2015 Rugby World Cup squad while former Wallabies captain James Horwill (Harlequins, UK) is the only overseas based selection after the New South Wales Waratahs announced the signing of veteran prop Sekope Kepu.