Current Australia and former Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt. Alamy Stock Photo

Beale recalled as Joe Schmidt names first Australia squad

The Wallabies are looking to bounce back from their World Cup debacle.

VETERAN KURTLEY BEALE earned a recall Friday after being cleared of sexual assault as new head coach Joe Schmidt named his first Australia squad for Tests against Georgia and Wales.

Beale has played 95 times for the Wallabies and following his acquittal, the 35-year-old playmaker returned to play Super Rugby for the Western Force in April.

Beale was the headline change in a 38-man squad which includes 13 uncapped players.

The Wallabies are looking to bounce back in their first games since their Rugby World Cup debacle under Schmidt’s predecessor Eddie Jones, when they crashed out in the pool stages.

Former All Blacks prop Alex Hodgman has also been included. He qualifies for Australia under World Rugby’s eligibility rules, having last played for New Zealand four years ago.

Hodgman is in line to become only the fourth player to have represented both Australia and their rivals New Zealand.

Schmidt said he had been impressed with Hodgman when they were both at the Blues in 2022.

“I think he’ll be pretty excited to be in the squad with a chance of being one of four people, which is an extraordinary little bit of history that he might be able to be part of,” Schmidt said Friday.

“He’ll be understanding that it’s going to be a pretty pragmatic decision, there’s things to be earned and he’ll be ready to roll his sleeves up.”

There is no place for backs Carter Gordon and Mark Nawaqanitawase, who have respectively signed for rugby league clubs Gold Coast Titans and Sydney Roosters from next year.

Fly-half Tom Lynagh and hooker Josh Nasser — the sons of Wallabies legends Michael Lynagh and Brendan Nasser who won the 1991 Rugby World Cup — are among the uncapped players.

New Zealander Schmidt said he was impressed with the way 21-year-old Lynagh picked himself up in a Super Rugby game this season after being flattened by a bone-crunching tackle.

“He’s a courageous man,” Schmidt said. “He’s young, he’s still got a lot to learn and we’re going to try to fast-track that learning over this next four weeks.”

Veteran prop James Slipper is the most experienced player with 134 appearances.

The squad will assemble in Brisbane this Sunday for a four-day camp ahead of two home Tests against Wales on 6 and 13 July. They play Georgia at home on 20 July.

Australia squad to face Wales and Georgia

Forwards: Allan Alaalatoa, Angus Blyth, Charlie Cale, Matt Faessler, Nick Frost, Langi Gleeson, Alex Hodgman, Tom Hooper, Isaac Kailea, Fraser McReight, Josh Nasser, Zane Nonggorr, Billy Pollard, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Ryan Smith, James Slipper, Taniela Tupou, Rob Valetini, Jeremy Williams, Harry Wilson, Liam Wright.

Backs: Kurtley Beale, Filipo Daugunu, Ben Donaldson, David Feliuai, Josh Flook, Len Ikitau, Andrew Kellaway, Darby Lancaster, Noah Lolesio, Tom Lynagh, Tate McDermott, Hunter Paisami, Dylan Pietsch, Hamish Stewart, Nic White, Tom Wright.

– © AFP 2024