Wycliff Palu and Will Genia have been included in Australia’s 30-man squad for the Tri-Nations.
Palu last played for the Wallabies against France in November last year but has since been hampered by shoulder and hand injuries, while Reds scrumhalf Genia also had injury concerns which ruled him out of the June Tests. The pair replace Lote Tuqiri and Josh Valentine respectively and coach Robbie Deans said they would have been included earlier if not for the ailments.
Genia and Force flanker Matt Hodgson are the only uncapped players of the 30, which includes 17 forwards.
‘If you look at the competition from a historical perspective, and more particularly look at the pointers from our experience last year, it is in the forward pack where our resources are most likely to come under stress,’ said Deans.
The only player unavailable for the tournament opener against New Zealand on 18 July is Rocky Elsom, who is struggling with a knee injury.
Australia Squad – Backs: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Berrick Barnes, Luke Burgess, Quade Cooper, Ryan Cross, Will Genia, Matt Giteau, Peter Hynes, Drew Mitchell, Stirling Mortlock (c), James O’Connor, Timana Tahu, Lachie Turner.
Forwards: Ben Alexander, Al Baxter, Richard Brown, Pek Cowan, Rocky Elsom, Matt Hodgson, James Horwill, Peter Kimlin, Stephen Moore, Dean Mumm, Wycliff Palu, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson, Nathan Sharpe, George Smith, Phil Waugh.