The selection of Queensland Reds star Fraser McRight to the Australia ‘A’ squad will head a tough squad for next month’s Pacific Nations Cup in Fiji.
McReight’s omission from the Wallabies team has raised a lot of eyebrows but it is understood that coach Dave Renee still has a high opinion of the 23-year-old for his talent towards the ball, which is held in high esteem by the coaching staff.
With Reds Flanker stuck behind John Ellis medalist and Wallabis captain Michael Hooper on the depth chart, Renee is happy to have given him time in the Australia ‘A’ team to help him develop internationally.
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In addition to the new players who were fascinated during Super Rugby Pacific, the squad includes eight capped wallaby. Experienced preacher Reese Witherspoon led the team with Felletti Kaitou, Tom Robertson, Lalakai Fouquetti and Filippo Daugunu.
Waratah assistant coach Jason Gilmore will be the team coach and says he is looking forward to joining players he has experience with in the past, including McRight, Ben Donaldson, Will Harris and Mark Nawakantiawas, all playing in the 2019 U20 Championship.
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“The team has a good mix of experienced and young players and I think the team will get a lot out of the upcoming tournament in Fiji,” Gilmore said in a statement.
“Looking at some of the names in the squad, it’s clear that depth is growing in Australian rugby and I think our inclusion in the Pacific Nations Cup will be beneficial.”
The Pacific Nations Cup will be played over three weekends from July 2.
Pacific Nations Cup squad in Australia
Tim Amnesty (Western Force)
Jock Campbell (Queensland Reds)
Filippo Daugunu (Queensland Reds)
Ben Donaldson (NSW Varatas)
Ten Admed (NSW Waratahs)
Matt Fessler (Queensland Reds)
Foketi Male (NSW Waratah)
Feo Fotuaika (Queensland Reds)
Matt Gibbon (Melbourne Rebel)
Langie Gleason (NSW Waratahs)
Ned Hanigan (NSW Waratahs)
Will Harris (NSW Waratahs)
Reese Witherspoon (Melbourne Rebels)
Harry Huppert (Queensland Reds)
Harry Johnson-Holmes (NSW Waratahs)
Ryan Lonergan (Brumbis)
Ryan McCully (Western Force)
Fraser McRight (Queensland Reds)
Andy Muerhead (Brumbis)
Mark Nawakanitawase (NSW Varatahs)
Dylan Pitts (NSW Waratahs)
Billy Pollard (Brumbis)
Jackson Pug (Western Force)
Tom Robertson (Western Force)
Ryan Smith (Queensland Reds)
Hamish Stewart (Queensland Reds)
Jake Strachan (Western Forces)
Seru Uru (Queensland Reds)
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