Knuckles KO’s Wallabies veterans

New Wallabies coach John Connolly, known as knuckles, has landed the first blows already with the selection of an initial national training squad.

Knuckles has dropped Brumbies front row veterans Jeremy Paul and Bill Young. In a bigger shock he has axed Reds utility back Drew Mitchell, who was the star of the Wallabies in 2005.

No Waratahs players have been included. They will be added to the 25-strong squad in the next few days.

The Brumbies’ third choice scrumhalf Luke Burgess, Western Force hooker Tai McIsaac and Lachlan Mackay, who missed most of the Super 14 with injury, were also included in a squad that does contain George Gregan.

Connolly will name a 33-man squad on May 29 to prepare for the two tests against England, the first of which is on June 11 in Sydney.

Wallabies training group: Nic Henderson, Guy Shepherdson, Mark Chisholm, George Smith, George Gregan, Luke Burgess, Matt Giteau, Stephen Larkham, Stirling Mortlock, Mark Gerrard, Clyde Rathbone, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Gene Fairbanks, Daniel Heenan (Brumbies), Nathan Sharpe, Tai McIsaac, Cameron Shepherd, Lachlan MacKay, Scott Staniforth, Scott Fava (Force), John Roe, Ben Tune, Rodney Blake, Greg Holmes, Chris Latham (Reds).