Isi Naisarani of the Brumbies scores a try at Allianz Stadium.
Isi Naisarani of the Brumbies scores a try at Allianz Stadium.

The man to solve Wallabies dilemma? Tour squad named

FIJIAN-BORN powerhouse Isi Naisarani's potential to solve Australia's backrow dilemma has been underlined, with his naming as a development player to accompany the Wallabies on their spring tour.

Naisarani isn't eligible to represent Australia until April, but the 1.95m 23-year-old is widely considered the player who can add much needed height and bulk alongside world class flankers Michael Hooper and David Pocock.

He played for the Force in 2017 and the Brumbies this year, before committing to the Rebels for next year.

Talented Reds teenage back Jordan Petaia and halfback Jake Gordon are the only uncapped members of the official 32 man squad.

Petaia would become the third youngest player to ever debut for the Wallabies, should he make an appearance in the November internationals against either Wales or Italy.

Naisarani and fellow Brumbies backrower Rob Valetini, who will also travel as a development player, are still to earn a Test cap.

The squad includes three overseas based players.

Utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper, who is based in Japan with Kobe Steelers, has the chance to add to his tally of 116 caps - the last being in 2016.

Veteran hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau will link up with the Wallabies in Wales, after playing for Leicester in the English Premiership since his last Test appearance in September against Argentina on the Gold Coast.

Playmaker Matt Toomua is still attached to Leicester despite playing all six Rugby Championship matches.

Wallabies hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa tries his hand at sumo wrestling in Japan.
Wallabies hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa tries his hand at sumo wrestling in Japan.

Of the squad originally named for last week's Bledisloe Cup Test, hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa and uncapped lock-flanker Jed Holloway have been omitted.

Holloway has been battling with hamstring and back niggles.

Lock Adam Coleman has been training fully after missing the Bledisloe game with a groin problem.

Wallabies squad

Forwards: Jermaine Ainsley (Rebels), Allan Alaalatoa (Brumbies), Rory Arnold (Brumbies), Adam Coleman (Rebels), Jack Dempsey (Waratahs), Folau Fainga'a (Brumbies), Ned Hanigan (Waratahs), Michael Hooper (captain, Waratahs), Sekope Kepu (Waratahs), Tolu Latu (Waratahs), Tatafu Polota-Nau (Leicester) David Pocock (Brumbies), Izack Rodda (Reds), Rob Simmons (Waratahs), Pete Samu (Brumbies), Scott Sio (Brumbies), Taniela Tupou (Reds)

Backs: Adam Ashley-Cooper (Kobe), Tom Banks (Brumbies), Kurtley Beale, (Waratahs), Israel Folau (Waratahs), Bernard Foley (Waratahs), Will Genia (Rebels), Jake Gordon (Waratahs), Dane Haylett-Petty (Rebels), Samu Kerevi (Reds), Marika Koroibete (Rebels), Jack Maddocks (Rebels), Sefa Naivalu (Rebels), Jordan Petaia (Reds), Nick Phipps (Waratahs), Matt Toomua (Leicester)

Development players: Rob Valetini (Brumbies), Isi Naisarani (Rebels)

Spring tour schedule

* Wales (Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Sunday November 11, 4.20am AEDT)

* Italy (Stadio Euganeo, Padua, Sunday November 18, 1am AEDT)

* England (Twickenham Stadium, London, Sunday November 25, 2am AEDT)

 

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