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Sydney — Outside back Jock Campbell could win his first Wallabies cap at the relatively advanced age of 27 in this year’s Rugby Championship after being named in the Australia squad for the first two Tests in Argentina on Thursday.
Lock Rory Arnold was also called into the 36-man squad as one of the three overseas players allowed to coach Dave Rennie, who had a vacant spot with centre Samu Kerevi off to Birmingham to play Sevens at the Commonwealth Games.
Flyhalf Quade Cooper, who missed the midyear series against England with a calf injury sustained in the warm-up before the first Test, and winger Marika Koroibete are the other players based abroad.
The Wallabies were left with a lengthy injury list after going down 2-1 in their three-match series against England, with the losses particularly acute among the outside backs and second-row forwards.
Campbell was in fine form for Australia A in the Pacific Nations Cup in July, however, and could even start at fullback in the first Test against the Pumas in Mendoza on August 6 with Tom Banks and Andrew Kellaway absent through injury.
Uncapped loosehead prop Matt Gibbon, centre Lalakai Foketi and flanker Fraser McReight have also been promoted from the Australia A side that played Fiji, Tonga and Samoa.
“To be able to pick guys who have performed well in the Australia A programme against quality international opposition is a massive positive and we’re looking forward to welcoming them to the mob next week,” Rennie said.
With Kerevi unavailable and Izaia Perese injured, midfield back Irae Simone was also brought in to raise the number of Brumbies players to 14.
Australia head into the Rugby Championship with only one win in their last six matches. They play a second Test against Argentina in San Juan on August 13 before returning home to host world champions SA.
Forwards: Dave Porecki, Lachlan Lonergan, Folau Fainga’a, Taniela Tupou, Scott Sio, Allan Alaalatoa, Pone Fa’amausili, James Slipper, Matt Gibbon, Matt Philip, Nick Frost, Rory Arnold, Jed Holloway, Darcy Swain, Michael Hooper (captain), Fraser McReight, Pete Samu, Harry Wilson, Rob Valetini, Rob Leota.
Backs: Nic White, Tate McDermott, Jake Gordon, Quade Cooper, James O’Connor, Noah Lolesio, Hunter Paisami, Lalakai Foketi, Len Ikitau, Irae Simone, Marika Koroibete, Jock Campbell, Suliasi Vunivalu, Tom Wright, Jordan Petaia, Reece Hodge.
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Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.