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Dublin: 0°C Thursday 6 May 2021

Horwill makes surprise return as Wallabies name 10 debutants

Australia will host England in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney next month.

Australia veteran James Horwill
Australia veteran James Horwill

FORMER WALLABIES CAPTAIN James Horwill has surprisingly been included in Australia’s squad for next month’s three-Test series against England.

Horwill was sensationally left out of Australia’s Rugby World Cup campaign last year but the 30-year-old returns to the international fold in Michael Cheika’s initial 39-man squad.

Now plying his trade for Harlequins in the Premiership, Horwill is one of four overseas-based players selected for the series in Australia, which gets underway in Brisbane on June 11.

Bordeaux prop Sekope Kepu, Leroy Houston and Taqele Naiyaravoro have also been named.

Aside from Horwill’s surprise inclusion, there are 10 debutants in the squad as ex-Wallabies coach Eddie Jones prepares to lead England down under.

Code-hopper Karmichael Hunt, Eto Nabuli and Joe Powell are among the rookies.

“We’ve been working with an initial squad of 60 players we identified, which has been reduced to 39 for this camp. We’ll trim that number down to 30 for each Test, so competition for spots is everything,” Cheika said on Thursday.

“Our first week in camp will target a high intensity training attitude, building on combinations within that environment. We want to build on the identity we’ve worked hard on establishing over the past 18 months.”

“We have selected this squad with one eye on the now and one on the future and there’s a huge focus on building depth within the squad,” Cheika added.

“For example, we want to work with three tight fives and four number 7s, looking to build that competition within that type of combination.”

After the series opens at Suncorp Stadium, the Wallabies will then host England in Melbourne (June 18) and Sydney (June 25).

Australia squad in full: Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Sam Carter, Adam Coleman, Scott Fardy, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Nick Frisby, Liam Gill, James Hanson, Mike Harris, Dane Haylett-Petty, Greg Holmes, Michael Hooper, Rob Horne, James Horwill, Leroy Houston, Karmichael Hunt, Sekope Kepu Samu Kerevi, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, Ben McCalman, Sean McMahon Stephen Moore, Luke Morahan, Dean Mumm, Eto Nabuli, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Wycliff Palu, Nick Phipps, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Joe Powell, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Will Skelton, James Slipper, Toby Smith.

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