Lions Tour: McMeniman, Sio added toWallabies squad

Kurtley Beale
Kurtley Beale


Robbie Deans has finalised his Wallabies squad to take on the British and Irish Lions, with Force flanker Hugh McMeniman and Brumbies prop Scott Sio the final pieces of the puzzle.

The Australian Rugby Union also announced that Reds prop James Horwill will reprise his role as Wallabies skipper, taking the mantle back from injured star David Pocock.

Horwill last captained Australia two years ago before a hamstring injury ruled him out of the Test season.

McMeniman joined the Wallabies at their training base on the Sunshine Coast on Monday afternoon less than 24 hours after his side’s 28-13 loss to the Waratahs in Perth on Sunday.

McMeniman and Sio join Kurtley Beale, Digby Ioane, Pat McCabe and Peter Kimlin as the late additions to the Wallabies squad ahead of the first Test in Brisbane on June 22.

Ioane has been given the green light to begin increasing his training load ahead of a return from right knee surgery earlier in the year.

Ioane’s Reds team-mate Quade Cooper was officially omitted from the squad on Sunday despite his efforts in Queensland’s gritty loss to the Lions on Saturday night.

Prop Sio is in the running to earn his first Test cap after having shown impressive form in the Brumbies’ charge to the top of the Australian Conference this season.

Sio’s Brumbies team-mate McCabe adds back-line experience to the squad, while another one of Jake White’s men in Peter Kimlin rejoins the national fold after a four-year absence.

Beale’s inclusion comes just one week after he returned to club rugby for Randwick after undergoing treatment for alcohol issues at a private health facility in Sydney.

Deans said the off-field issues the star utility back has gone through this Super Rugby season would not be a distraction for Beale or the Wallabies at large.

37-Test scrum half Luke Burgess and Reds hooker James Hanson will remain with the squad as training cover this week.

Backs: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Berrick Barnes, Kurtley Beale, Nick Cummins, Israel Folau, Will Genia, Rob Horne, Digby Ioane, Christian Leali’ifano, Pat McCabe, James O’Connor, Nick Phipps, Joe Tomane.

Forwards: Ben Alexander, Dave Dennis, Kane Douglas, Saia Fainga’a, Liam Gill, Michael Hooper, James Horwill (capt), Sekope Kepu, Peter Kimlin, Ben McCalman, Hugh McMeniman, Stephen Moore, Ben Mowen, Wycliff Palu, Benn Robinson, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, James Slipper.


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