Former rugby league star Vunivalu one of six uncapped Australia players called up for England series

By Sports Desk June 12, 2022

Former rugby league winger Suliasi Vunivalu heads a six-man list of uncapped players selected by Australia for the Test series with England.

Australia coach Dave Rennie named his 35-man squad on Sunday for the three-Test series against Eddie Jones' side, which starts in Perth on July 2.

Jed Holloway, Dave Porecki, lock Cadeyrn Neville and Vunivalu, who switched disciplines in 2019 after a league career with Melbourne Storm, have all been named in their first international squad.

Tighthead prop Pone Fa'amausili and second-rower Nick Frost are the other two uncapped players to be called up, while the in-form Fraser McReight was a notable omission.

The experienced Reece Hodge and Kurtley Beale also missed out through injury, with Michael Hooper leading the Wallabies as captain.

Fly-half Quade Cooper and Fiji-born backs Samu Kerevi and Marika Koroibete, who all play in Japan, are the three overseas selections allowed to be picked under Rugby Australia rules.

"The core of this squad is a group who have performed strongly for us over the last two seasons, while strong form in Super Rugby Pacific has been rewarded with a handful of new faces," Rennie said.

"The past two years have allowed us to build strong foundations as a group but there's no doubt that we have a lot more in us.

"We're looking forward to working hard and preparing as a group to put in performances that make our supporters proud against England next month."

The group will assemble on the Sunshine Coast from Thursday in preparation for the Optus Stadium opener, with Tests to follow at Brisbane's Lang Park and the Sydney Cricket Ground.
 

Australia squad:

Forwards: Dave Porecki, Lachlan Lonergan, Folau Fainga'a, Taniela Tupou, Scott Sio, Allan Alaalatoa, Pone Fa'amausili, James Slipper, Angus Bell, Matt Philip, Jed Holloway, Nick Frost, Cadeyrn Neville, Darcy Swain, Michael Hooper (captain), Pete Samu, Harry Wilson, Rob Valetini, Rob Leota

Backs: Nic White, Tate McDermott, Jake Gordon, Quade Cooper, James O'Connor, Noah Lolesio, Samu Kerevi, Hunter Paisami, Izaia Perese, Len Ikitau, Marika Koroibete, Andrew Kellaway, Tom Banks, Suliasi Vunivalu, Tom Wright, Jordan Petaia

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