SYDNEY – Wallabies captain Michael Hooper was Sunday included in a trimmed-down squad for the opening Bledisloe Cup clash against the All Blacks after being cleared to play following a hamstring injury.
Hooper, who signed a five-year contract with Rugby Australia Friday, had been racing to be fit for Saturday's clash in Sydney after picking up the injury in the final Test against Ireland in June.
Coach Michael Cheika said the 26-year-old Hooper, Scott Sio (shoulder) and Dane Haylett-Petty (knee) had all passed fitness tests after an intensive week-long training camp.
The 28-man squad, cut from 36, includes two uncapped players in Tom Banks and Jack Maddocks.
"I just think that little bit of extra focus on a smaller group of players in there can build our alignment and cohesion," Cheika said.
"Everyone's focused on the one task, everyone knows what their role is."
Forwards: Allan Alaalatoa, Adam Coleman, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper (capt), Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson, Izack Rodda, Pete Samu, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Lukhan Tui, Taniela Tupou
Backs: Tom Banks, Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Marika Koroibete, Jack Maddocks, Nick Phipps, Joe Powell, Matt Toomua