Australia recall Skelton, Arnold and Latu for northern hemisphere tour

By Sports Desk October 08, 2021

Will Skelton, Rory Arnold and Tolu Latu have been recalled to the Australia squad for their upcoming tour of the northern hemisphere.

The France-based trio were on Friday named in a 37-man party to face Japan at Oita Stadium on October 23 before travelling to Europe to take on Scotland, England and Wales next month.

Skelton has not played for the Wallabies since 2016, but the towering La Rochelle lock is set to add to his 18 caps.

Fellow second-rower Arnold, who plies his trade with Toulouse in the Top 14, and Stade Francais hooker Latu have not played for their country since the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Lalakai Foketi, Izaia Perese, Pone Fa'amausili and Connal McInerney are the uncapped quartet in the squad.

Japan-based trio Quade Cooper, Sean McMahon and Samu Kerevi – who has recovered from an ankle injury – were included on the back of Australia's second-placed finish behind New Zealand in the Rugby Championship.

Dave Rennie's side have won four consecutive games, seeing off world champions South Africa and Argentina twice.

Head coach Rennie said: "Firstly we're extremely grateful to be able to represent Australia on the world stage in the current environment and that's something that's not lost on this group.

"We've been building as a squad over the past 18 months or so and to get a chance to head to the northern hemisphere and test ourselves against four really strong International sides is a great opportunity to learn more about ourselves."

 

Australia squad: Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Angus Bell, Quade Cooper, Filipo Daugunu, Pone Fa'amausili, Folau Fainga'a, Lalakai Foketi, Jake Gordon, Reece Hodge, Michael Hooper (captain), Len Ikitau, Feleti Kaitu'u, Andrew Kellaway, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Tolu Latu, Rob Leota, Tate McDermott, Connal McInerney, Sean McMahon, James O’Connor, Hunter Paisami, Izaia Perese, Jordan Petaia, Matt Philip, Tom Robertson, Izack Rodda, Pete Samu, Will Skelton, James Slipper, Darcy Swain, Lachlan Swinton, Taniela Tupou, Rob Valetini, Nic White, Tom Wright.

Related items

  • Cummins named Australia's Test captain ahead of Ashes as Smith returns to leadership group Cummins named Australia's Test captain ahead of Ashes as Smith returns to leadership group

    Pat Cummins will skipper Australia in the upcoming Ashes against rivals England after being confirmed as the country's new Test captain.

    Cummins is the first fast bowler to captain Australia's men's Test team on a full-time basis after Tim Paine sensationally stood down last week, having been embroiled in a sexting scandal.

    Paine had taken over as Australia skipper from Steve Smith in the wake of the sandpaper scandal during the South Africa Test tour in 2018 but he is now set to miss the Ashes altogether after taking a leave of absence from all forms of cricket for the foreseeable future".

    The top-ranked bowler in Test cricket, Cummins will have Smith as his vice-captain as Australia turn their attention to the December 8 Ashes opener in Brisbane.

    "I am honoured to accept this role ahead of what will be a massive Ashes summer," Cummins said in a statement on Friday.

    "I hope I can provide the same leadership Tim [Paine] has given the group in the past few years.

    "With Steve and I as captains, a number of very senior players in this squad and some great young talent coming through we are a strong and tightly knit group.

    "This is an unexpected privilege which I am very grateful for and am very much looking forward to."

    Australia star Smith returns to the leadership group after he served a two-year ban from holding any leadership role in Australian cricket following the ball-tampering saga three years ago.

    Smith was hit with a 12-month suspension for his role in the scandal.

    "I am pleased to return to the leadership of the team and look forward to helping and assisting Pat in any way I can," Smith said in a statement as Australia prepare to host England, starting at the Gabba next month.

    "Pat and I have played together for a long time, so we know our respective styles well.

    "We are also great friends, as is the whole group. As a team, we want to play good, positive cricket and also really enjoy each other's company.

    "There are exciting times ahead as we focus on the Ashes and beyond."

  • Paine taking leave of absence from all forms of cricket ahead of Ashes series Paine taking leave of absence from all forms of cricket ahead of Ashes series

    Tim Paine is set to miss Australia's upcoming Ashes series against England after Cricket Tasmania announced he is taking a leave of absence from all forms of cricket "for the foreseeable future".

    The 36-year-old stepped down from his role as Australia's Test captain last week over an historical investigation into lewd texts sent to a former Cricket Tasmania colleague in 2017.

    Paine received the full backing of his team-mates and was still in Australia's Ashes squad to face England, with the first Test scheduled to begin on December 8.

    However, Paine has pulled out of Tasmania's one-day match against Western Australia on Friday and is now expected to be out of contention for the Ashes series.

    A statement released by Cricket Tasmania on Friday read: "Following discussions over the last 24 hours, Tim Paine has advised Cricket Tasmania that he will be taking a leave of absence from all forms of cricket for the foreseeable future.

    "Tim's decision makes him unavailable for selection for today's Marsh One-Day Cup match against Western Australia. His place in the squad will be taken by Charlie Wakim.
     
    "Cricket Tasmania will continue to support Tim and his family both professionally and personally over the summer."

    Paine's manager James Henderson added in a Twitter post that he is worried about the veteran wicketkeeper's mental state, as well as his wife Bonnie after details of the scandal became public a week ago.

    "Confirming that @tdpaine36 is stepping away from cricket for an indefinite mental health break," Henderson posted.  

    "We are extremely concerned for his and Bonnie's well-being and will be making no further comment at this time."

    Paine underwent neck surgery in September before returning to action for Tasmania's second XI against South Australia earlier this week.

    Pat Cummins and Steve Smith have reportedly been interviewed by Cricket Australia (CA) amid ongoing speculation the pair will step in as captain and vice-captain respectively.

  • Erasmus and SA Rugby opt against appeal and apologise for criticism of officials Erasmus and SA Rugby opt against appeal and apologise for criticism of officials

    Rassie Erasmus and SA Rugby have withdrawn their intention to appeal against sanctions imposed and have apologised to match officials for misconduct during the British and Irish Lions series.

    South Africa director of rugby Erasmus was last week banned from all rugby activities for two months and suspended from matchday activities until September 30 next year.

    Erasmus was in hot water after he accused the Lions of "reckless and dangerous" play in their 22-17 win in the first Test in July and hit out at the standard of refereeing from Nic Berry.

    The World Cup-winning coach also made the claims in a 62-minute video clip posted on social media as he highlighted what he felt were a number of calls that went against the world champions.

    Erasmus also retweeted clips from an anonymous Twitter user, alleged to be one of his own accounts, highlighting "questionable calls".

    World Rugby last week revealed that an independent misconduct committee found the 49-year-old was guilty of all six charges that were brought against him.

    The 49-year-old was also warned about his future conduct and told to issue an apology to the relevant match officials, while a fine of £20,000 was issued to SA Rugby along with a warning over the governing body's conduct going forward.

    Both Erasmus and SA Rugby stated they would exercise their rights to appeal the verdicts, but both parties have now decided against challenging the sanctions.

    A statement released by SA Rugby on Thursday said: "SA Rugby and Rassie Erasmus wish to apologise to the match officials appointed to the first Test of the Springboks' Series against the British and Irish Lions.

    "We also confirm that SA Rugby and Erasmus have advised World Rugby that they withdraw their Notice of Appeal and will not lodge an appeal against the sanctions imposed by the Judicial Committee.

    "This has been a highly stressful and charged environment with unusual pressures placed on all concerned and we have no wish to prolong that experience for anyone.

    "We have drawn a line under the incident and only wish to look forward. We will respect the outcomes of the hearing, allowing our national teams and rugby operations to plan with clarity for the coming months."

    A World Rugby statement said: "World Rugby welcomes the public apology from SA Rugby and Rassie Erasmus to the match officials involved in the first test between South Africa and the British and Irish Lions this year and the matter is closed."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.