Australia v Ireland: Wallabies name five uncapped players in 32-man squad

Jack Maddocks of Melbourne Rebels is one of five uncapped players in the squad
Full-back Jack Maddocks of Melbourne Rebels is one of five uncapped players in the Australia squad

Australia coach Michael Cheika has named five uncapped players in a 32-man squad for the three-Test series against Grand-Slam winning Ireland in June.

Brumbies duo Folau Fainga'a and Tom Banks, Rebels full-back Jack Maddocks and Reds forwards Brandon Paenga-Amosa and Caleb Timu are all included.

Melbourne-born loose forward Pete Samu could be a late addition if released from his New Zealand Rugby contract.

"At this point we can't select him but there is a spot for him," Cheika said.

Samu, 26, plays for Super Rugby champions Canterbury Crusaders.

"At this point, it's in others' hands," Cheika added. "I'm not really involved in that part of it but I'm hoping there will be some more clarity on that on Thursday."

In Samu's absence, Timu is in line for a maiden Test appearance, slotting into a back row alongside David Pocock and captain Michael Hooper.

Pete Samu
Pete Samu is awaiting his release from NZ Rugby

With former captain Stephen Moore retired and Tatafu Polota-Nau rested, the Wallabies will field a rookie hooker, with Paenga-Amosa and Fainga'a seeking Test debuts behind the twice-capped Jordan Uelese.

Blindside flanker Ned Hanigan has been named but will miss at least the first Test as he recovers from a knee injury.

Cheika was cagey about his favoured back-row combination and which position veteran ball-poacher Pocock will play.

The Australia coach added: "Whether he wears seven, six or eight, he will have his standard floating role so he can do exactly what he does best - he's always straight into his strong points."

Pocock's speedy Brumbies team-mate Banks has a chance to make his Test debut in the back three, along with Maddocks.

With Super Rugby scheduled this weekend, the Wallabies will have less than a week to prepare for the 9 June opener in Brisbane against the Six Nations champions, who are riding a 12-match winning streak and bidding for their first Test and series victory in Australia since 1979.

The Canberra-based Brumbies have refused a request from Cheika and Rugby Australia to rest three of their Wallabies - Pocock, and props Allan Alaalatoa and Scott Sio - from Sunday's home match against the Sunwolves.

"Common sense will tell you that a six-day preparation for a Test match is not ideal," Cheika said. "I'm hoping we can work it out together."

Meanwhile, Rebels scrum-half Will Genia has been named in the squad despite missing a month of Super Rugby with a knee injury.

Australia squad

Forwards: Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Folau Fainga'a, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper, Sekope Kepu, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, David Pocock, Tom Robertson, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Izack Rodda, Caleb Timu, Lukhan Tui, Taniela Tupou, Jordan Uelese.

Backs: Tom Banks, Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Tevita Kuridrani, Jack Maddocks, Sefanaia Naivalu, Nick Phipps, Joe Powell, Curtis Rona.

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