Robbie Deans has taken the surprise decision to exclude Quade Cooper from his Wallabies squad to face the Lions, but Kurtley Beale returns.
Many expected the Queensland Reds star to return to the international fold and showed glimpses of his undoubted talent when the Reds lost to Warren Gatland’s side last week.
Cooper has had a strained relationship with the Australian manager in the past and Deans has decided he is not needed as they look to repeat the winning trick of 2001, but has said that the Kiwi-born out-half could feature at some stage.
“We’ve obviously not included him (Cooper) in the additional six at this stage, but as you’ve seen (with injuries), things happen quickly,” New Zealander Deans told reporters in Caloundra on Queensland state’s Sunshine Coast, where the Wallabies squad has assembled for a training camp.
One man back into the fold is Kurtley Beale. The talented playmaker has had a difficult season, having been suspended on two separate occasions by his club for breaches of discipline.
Beale checked himself into a private health clinic last month to deal with “personal issues”, and has “presented himself in the right physical and mental shape” according to the head coach.
ACT Brumbies trio of centre Pat McCabe, versatile forward Peter Kimlin and uncapped prop Scott Sio are called up, as has the Western Force’s Hugh McMeniman. Winger Digby Ioane is also included but faces a race against time to be fir for the opening Test in less than two weeks.
Deans also confirmed that 31 year-old James Horwill will captain the side. The 28-year-old missed all Australia’s matches last year because of a ruptured hamstring that also delayed his start to the 2013 Super Rugby season.