Dubbo’s Tom Robertson and Coonamble’s Ned Hanigan have been named in the Wallabies train-on squad to face the All Blacks later this month.
Coach Michael Cheika named an extended 36-man train-on squad on Sunday before the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship opener in Sydney on August 18 and immediately instructed his hopefuls to prepare themselves mentally for the All Blacks.
It's been 16 years since Australia last held trans-Tasman bragging rights and victory at ANZ Stadium in 13 days looms as critical if the Wallabies are to regain the prized piece of silverware.
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“Just hard work and a real clear direction and alignment from our leaders to the rest of the players in our squad as to what we want to achieve,” Cheika said, when asked what he wanted from his squad during this week's training camp in Cessnock.
“Let's look at game one first of all. Let's not even think about about the Rugby Championship.
“Just think about the first game and connect together, learn to trust each other more and be really aligned around what we believe so we can get our energy pointing in the right direction for game one.”
Cheika named veteran hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau and six uncapped rookies - including Melbourne Rebels teenager Jordan Petaia – in his squad that will be trimmed to 23 next Sunday.
Rested from the June series against Ireland after returning from a stint in the English Premiership, Polota-Nau is back in the mix to earn an 83rd Test cap.
The 33-year-old is among four hookers in the squad and fighting former NSW Waratahs teammate Tolu Latu, Queensland Reds' incumbent Australian No.2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa and Brumbies young gun Folau Faingaa for a Bledisloe berth.
Petaia lit up Leichhardt Oval on Friday night in a dazzling trial display to earn his way into the squad
The 18-year-old and Rebels centre Billy Meakes add cover to the midfield after injuries ruled out Test regulars Tevita Kuridrani and Samu Kerevi.
Brumbies star Tom Banks, who shone at fullback in Friday's trial, Faingaa and Rebels pair Jack Maddocks and Jermaine Ainsley are the others hoping to earn their maiden Test caps.
Cheika said Wallabies captain Michael Hooper was expected to resume training on Monday after suffering a hamstring injury in the final Test against Ireland that ruled the NSW Waratahs leader out of the Super Rugby finals.
Back-rower Pete Samu will also re-join his Wallabies teammates this week after helping the Crusaders win a record-extending ninth Super Rugby title on Saturday night.
WALLABIES TRAIN-ON SQUAD
Backs: 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.
Forwards: Jermaine Ainsley, Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Folau Faingaa*, 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, Caleb Timu, Lukhan Tui, Taniela Tupou.