Controversial flyhalf Quade Cooper has returned to the
Australia squad, with coach Robbie Deans naming a large 49-man
training group ahead of the test series against the British and
Irish Lions in June and July.
Cooper had looked set to miss the three-test series after a
public row with Deans last year when he described the
Wallabies training camp as a 'toxic environment', but the
Queensland Reds back patched up his differences and signed a
new three-year deal in December.
He is joined in the large squad by Queensland team mates
James Horwill and Will Genia, who are both recovering from
long term injuries, but there is no place for backrow forward
Other capped players to miss out are NSW Waratahs winger
Lachie Turner and Western Force scrumhalf Brett Sheehan, with
ACT Brumbies captain Ben Mowen also overlooked.
New cross-code convert Israel Folau is another not selected.
But with the new Super Rugby season getting underway next
month, an Australian Rugby Union official said there would be
plenty of chopping and changing to the squad before the first
test against the Lions in Brisbane on June 22.
"It doesn't guarantee anything," the unnamed Wallaby
spokesperson said in a statement on the Australian Rugby
"If you're not here it doesn't mean you're not a Wallaby this
year - it comes down to what you do on the field.
"There's nothing to stop Israel Folau going out there and
playing the house down to make the team."
Seven uncapped players have been named including ACT Brumbies
flyalf Christian Lealiifano and scrumhalf Nic White.
Western Force second row Hugh McMeniman is recalled after
ending his three-year spell in Japan which put his
international career on hold.
Squad: Saia Faingaa, James Hanson, James Slipper, James
Horwill, Rob Simmons, Jake Schatz, Liam Gill, Will Genia, Ben
Lucas, Quade Cooper, Ben Tapaui, Anthony Faingaa, Mike
Harris, Dom Shipperley, Digby Ioane, Luke Morahan, Tatafu
Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson, Paddy Ryan, Sekope Kepu, Kane
Douglas, Sitaleki Timani, Dave Dennis, Michael Hooper,
Wycliff Palu, Berrick Barnes, Rob Horne, Adam Ashley-Cooper,
Drew Mitchell, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander, Dan Palmer,
David Pocock, Nic White, Christian Lealiifano, Pat McCabe,
Joe Tomane, Cadeyrn Neville, Hugh Pyle, Scott Higginbotham,
Nick Phipps, Kurtley Beale, James O'Connor, Mitch Inman,
Cooper Vuna, Salesi Ma'afu, Hugh McMeniman, Ben McCalman,