Wed, Oct 04, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Cannon, Lyons and Turinui return for Wallabies tour


The Wallabies have called on experienced trio Brendan Cannon, David Lyons and Morgan Turinui to bolster their 37-man squad named yesterday for next month's four-Test rugby tour to Europe.

Hooker Cannon (40 Tests) and No. 8 Lyons (40 Tests) return to the Wallabies after overcoming injuries which kept them out of this year's internationals, while center Turinui (20 Tests) earns a recall after playing all of Australia's 13 Tests last year.

The large squad has been chosen for four internationals and three mid-week matches in the Wallabies' last major tour before next year's World Cup in France.

ACT Brumbies' back Gene Fairbanks and Queensland Reds lock James Horwill are the squad's two uncapped players.

Selectors have gone with Sam Cordingley and Brett Sheehan to contest the scrum-half position following the unavailability of Wallabies' regular No. 9 and skipper George Gregan.

Center Stirling Mortlock will captain the team in the absence of Gregan, who opted to rest from the tour to keep fresh for the World Cup.

The Australians will also use the developmental tour to gauge the merits of relative Test newcomers Al Campbell, Stephen Hoiles, Hugh McMeniman, Stephen Moore and Tatafu Polota-Nau, who did not play in this year's internationals.

John Connolly, embarking on his first major overseas tour as the Wallabies' coach since replacing Eddie Jones, said while keeping an eye on the build-up to the World Cup, the tour aim is to win Test matches.

"We've picked the squad on form but we've also made some selections with a view to the future," Connolly said in a statement yesterday.

"It's important that we continue to broaden the squad in the lead-up to the World Cup but we are going on tour with the expectation to win all four Tests," he said.

Tour itinerary

* Nov. 1: Ospreys v Australia A, Swansea

* Nov. 4: Wales v Australia, Cardiff

* Nov. 11: Italy v Australia, Rome

* Nov. 19: Ireland v Australia, Dublin

* Nov. 21: Scotland A v Australia A, Perth

* Nov. 25: Scotland v Australia, Edinburgh

Source: AFP

Connolly said the return of some experienced Wallabies has given the squad a strong balance.

"We've maintained a pretty good balance between younger players and experienced players for the tour," he said.

"A number of selections were very tight and there are a handful of players that were extremely unlucky to miss out," Connolly said.

"But we feel that the 37 we have selected will give us the best chance to be successful on the tour as well as continuing our aim of broadening the player depth in Australian rugby," he said.

The squad will assemble for a six-day training camp on Sunday and leave for Europe on Oct. 27.

The Wallabies will play internationals against Wales, Italy, Ireland and Scotland and will have mid-week matches against Ireland A, Scotland A and Welsh team Ospreys.

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