Posted: Thursday 22nd May 2014 at 5:56 am

Matt Toomua gets Wallabies call-up

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Kurtley Beale and Bernard Foley are vying for the vacant No.10 jersey after Matt Toomua was named in the centres.

With injured playmaker Quade Cooper ruled out for most of the international campaign it was expected Toomua would be his replacement.

But McKenzie selected him as a centre alongside Christian Lealiifano and Tevita Kuridrani, leaving Beale and Foley as his five-eighth options.

Four uncapped players – hooker Nathan Charles, and locks Will Skelton, Luke Jones and Sam Carter – have all been selected.

Western Force prop Pek Cowan was a surprise inclusion, three years after last playing for the national side.

Veteran front-rower Benn Robinson was axed, along with Waratahs captain Dave Dennis, while Reds flanker Liam Gill missed out.

Rob Horne and Pat McCabe are the other back-three options alongside incumbents Israel Folau, Nick Cummins and Adam Ashley-Cooper.

“It’s pleasing to see the quality and depth we have coming through the Australian rugby ranks at the moment and I’m confident the squad we’ve chosen can deliver the outcomes we are looking for throughout the June series,” McKenzie said.

“We’re beginning to create a strong and competitive selection environment, which unfortunately means that some quality players will miss out.

“The challenge for this group now is to build on our four most recent wins on the spring tour and ensure we continue to develop a winning culture.

“The last time an Australian team won five straight games was in 2008. That’s a six-year hoodoo we need to break and it will be our immediate short-term team goal.

“We’re also looking for players to contribute as much to the cultural piece off the field as they do with their performance on it.

“We don’t hide from the fact that we want to have the best rugby program possible and to do that you need to have not just the best players but the best people.

“We are in the business of inspiration. Winning is not enough and it’s important that our journey captures the hearts and minds of the Australian public along the way.

“That’s the responsibility of each individual in the squad and we’re really looking forward to the opportunity to positively influence the rugby landscape in Australia in June and throughout the rest of the year.”

Wallabies squad:
Forwards: Ben Alexander, Pek Cowan, Sekope Kepu, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Nathan Charles, Stephen Moore, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Sam Carter, James Horwill, Luke Jones, Rob Simmons, Will Skelton, Scott Fardy, Scott Higginbotham, Matt Hodgson, Michael Hooper, Ben McCalman, Wycliff Palu

Backs: Wil Genia, Nick Phipps, Nick White, Kurtley Beale, Bernard Foley, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, Matt Toomua, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Nick Cummins, Israel Folau, Rob Horne, Pat McCabe.

For more sports news visit allSports.com.gh

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