Australia announce 42-man squad for Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship

Nic White returns from injury for Australia
Nic White returns from injury for Australia

Australia head coach Dave Rennie has named eight uncapped players in the 42-man squad for the upcoming Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship tournaments.

Former Queensland playmaker Duncan Paia'aua, who is currently with Toulon after last featuring for Australia during the game against Barbarians in 2017 has been included in the squad along with other uncapped players - Nick Frost, Ryan Lonergan, Andy Muirhead, Pone Fa'amausili, Rob Leota, Lalakai Foketi and Feleti Kaitu'u.

Fly-half James O'Connor, who is recovering from a groin injury will miss the Bledisloe Cup series while Pete Samu, Jordan Petaia, Nic White and Scott Sio are returning after recovering from their respective injuries.

Michael Hooper will be captaining the squad while Samu Kerevi is expected to link up during the Rugby Championship following his commitment in the Tokyo Olympics.

"We have a great opportunity coming up in the Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup Tests to build on the momentum we picked up during a tough French series," said Rennie.

"We know we've still got a way to go to get to where we want to be but that challenge is exciting and something we're looking forward to."

The squad is currently in a bubble in Queensland following the conclusion of series against France and are hoping for relaxation from the New Zealand government following the suspension of trans-Tasman travel to take part in the Bledisloe Cup opener against the All Blacks on 7th August.

Australia squad:

Allan Alaalatoa, Tom Banks, Angus Bell, Pone Fa'amausili, Lalakai Foketi, Nick Frost, Jake Gordon, Reece Hodge, Michael Hooper (captain), Len Ikitau, Feleti Kaitu'u, Andrew Kellaway, Marika Koroibete, Rob Leota, Noah Lolesio, Lachlan Lonergan, Ryan Lonergan, Tate McDermott, Fraser McReight, Andy Muirhead, Isi Naisarani, James O'Connor, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Duncan Paia'aua, Hunter Paisami, Jordan Petaia, Matt Philip, Tom Robertson, Izack Rodda, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Pete Samu, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Darcy Swain, Lachlan Swinton, Matt To'omua, Taniela Tupou, Jordan Uelese, Rob Valetini, Nic White, Harry Wilson, Tom Wright