SYDNEY – England-based hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau and utility back Matt Toomua have been included in Australia’s extended 36-man training squad ahead of the Rugby Championship by coach Michael Cheika on Sunday.
Both have been selected under Australia’s ‘Giteau law’, which provides exemption from the Rugby Australia policy of picking only home-based players.
Polota-Nau has reached the requisite minimum 60 caps for the Wallabies, while fellow Leicester teammate became eligible earlier this week after signing with local Super Rugby side Rebels for next season. Toomua was a surprise late inclusion in the Wallabies for their warm-up match against a Super Rugby selection.
Cheika also included six uncapped players in his squad, which he will trim next week ahead of the Rugby Championship opener against the All Blacks in Sydney on August 18.
Melbourne prop Jermaine Ainsley and ACT Brumbies hooker Folau Faingaa are the only uncapped players in the forwards.
Outside backs Tom Banks (Brumbies), Jack Maddocks (Rebels), Jordan Petaia (Queensland Reds) and centre Billy Meakes (Rebels) will also press for an international debut.
The Wallabies squad is:
Jermaine Ainsley, Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Folau Faingaa, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper (c), Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson, Izack Rodda, Pete Samu, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Caleb Timu, Lukhan Tui, Taniela Tupou
Tom Banks, Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Marika Koroibete, Jack Maddocks, Billy Meakes, Sefa Naivalu, Jordan Petaia, Nick Phipps, Joe Powell, Curtis Rona, Matt Toomua.
* Springboks coach rassie Erasmus will name his Rugby Championship squad at mid-day on Monday.