Wallabies Pick Tapuai, Lucas, Dennis in 26-Man Squad for U.K. Rugby Tour

Australia rugby selectors picked three uncapped players and recalled prop Pek Cowan in a 26-man squad for the two-match tour of the U.K.

Queensland Reds backs Ben Tapuai and Ben Lucas, and New South Wales Waratahs back-rower Dave Dennis join Cowan as the only players to come from outside the Wallabies’ roster used at the recent Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

Nine players from that tournament, where the Wallabies finished third by beating Wales in a playoff, were unavailable because of injuries or playing commitments. The Wallabies face the Barbarians on Nov. 26 at Twickenham in London before taking on the Welsh a week later in a Test match in Cardiff.

“While this is a relatively brief visit by current standards, both fixtures promise to be exceedingly demanding,” Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said in a statement. “This is the only Test match Wales will play for the autumn and you can guarantee that they will throw absolutely everything at it.”

The Barbarians, an invitational team, will be prepared by New Zealand’s World Cup-winning coaches Graham Henry and Steve Hansen and feature five members of the All Blacks victorious squad and five Welshman.

WALLABIES SQUAD: Ben Alexander, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Berrick Barnes, Pekahou Cowan, Dave Dennis, Anthony Fainga’a, Will Genia, Scott Higginbotham, Matt Hodgson, Rob Horne, James Horwill (captain), Digby Ioane, Ben Lucas, Salesi Ma’afu, Ben McCalman, Stephen Moore, James O’Connor, Nick Phipps, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota Nau, Radike Samo, Nathan Sharpe, Rob Simmons, James Slipper, Ben Tapuai, Lachie Turner.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Baynes in Sydney at dbaynes@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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