Eddie Jones names 33 players for April training camp


Eddie Jones has left young halves Noah Lolesio and Tate McDermott out of his first camp in the lead up the Rugby World Cup, but has kept faith with out of form NRL convert Suliasi Vunivalu.

The Brumbies flyhalf and Reds No.9 were two of the bigger omissions from a squad of 43 players named – 33 active, three on a long term rehab list and seven players joining from overseas via Zoom.

There was also no room for veteran flyhalf James O’Çonnor or Reds teammate Harry Wilson – whose contract situation with Rugby Australia is in flux after being lightly used by Dave Rennie.

Several others used by Rennie – such as Jake Gordon and Izzy Perese, were also left out. Jones has opted for two halfbacks – the Brumbies pair of Nic White and Ryan Lonergan.

There are call ups for Waratahs young gun Max Jorgensen, Brumbies pop Blake Schoupp and Richie Arnold, brother of Rory, via Zoom.

Tom Lynagh was not considered due to a reported injury along with several others. Lolesio was left out for Melbourne Rebels No.10 Carter Gordon who has started the Super Rugby season strongly.

Carter Gordon of the Rebels kicks the ball

Carter Gordon. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

“Every pre-season testing in Formula One is a fresh start,” said Jones in a statement. “New ideas, new cars, new drivers, new support staff. It’s the same for us.”

“This is a new squad, with new standards and new expectations for a new challenge. I hope the players who have this first chance understand the privilege, have their tyres pumped up and they’re ready to go.”

Jones has named six uncapped players in the group, including youngsters Josh Flook, Gordon and Jorgensen who have all been named in their first Wallabies squad.

Brumbies prop Blake Schoupp and Rebels backrower Brad Wilkin also find themselves in the national set up for the first time, while Melbourne hooker Jordan Uelese returns, having last been in the group in 2021.

“It’s no secret what I’ve been looking for,” he said, “and in the players selected for this first camp they’ve delivered on work rate, effort and intent,” Jones said.

“What they haven’t delivered on in Super Rugby is winning, particularly against New Zealand teams. Competitive doesn’t cut it. We will build a winner’s mindset in the Wallabies players, and we will win games. That will come from confidence and belief that comes through effort and sacrifice.

“I’ve said it a million times. We have the talent in Australia but not the team. This first camp and this first squad is the first step to building a winning team.

“This is not the squad for Rugby World Cup. It’s the first squad for the first camp. If you are in it, the challenge is to stay in it. If you are not in it, how do you get in it? Players select themselves.

“Going to win a Bledisloe Cup and a Rugby World Cup with the Wallabies is a rare privilege in a player’s career. Thousands try, few succeed.

“We saw a first-class game last night between the Brumbies and Waratahs with players really working hard for each other on both sides. It was encouraging. All I’ll say is, let’s see more of that and let’s see it every week. No excuses. Make it impossible for me to leave you out.”

The squad

Allan Alaalatoa (29, ACT Brumbies, 64 Tests)
Ben Donaldson (23, NSW Waratahs, 2 Tests)
Pone Fa’amausili (26, Melbourne Rebels, 3 Tests)
Josh Flook (21, Queensland Reds, uncapped)
Lalakai Foketi (28, NSW Waratahs, 5 Tests)
Nick Frost (23, ACT Brumbies, 9 Tests)
Langi Gleeson (21, NSW Waratahs, 3 Tests)
Carter Gordon (22, Melbourne Rebels, uncapped)
Ned Hanigan (27, NSW Waratahs, 28 Tests)
Reece Hodge (28, Melbourne Rebels, 54 Tests)
Michael Hooper (31, NSW Waratahs, 124 Tests)
Jed Holloway (30, NSW Waratahs, 10 Tests)
Len Ikitau (24, ACT Brumbies, 26 Tests)
Max Jorgensen (18, NSW Waratahs, uncapped)
Andrew Kellaway (27, Melbourne Rebels, 21 Tests)
Lachlan Lonergan (23, ACT Brumbies, 8 Tests)
Ryan Lonergan (24, ACT Brumbies, uncapped)
Fraser McReight (24, Queensland Reds, 10 Tests)
Mark Nawaqanitawase (22, NSW Waratahs, 3 Tests)
Cadeyrn Neville (34, ACT Brumbies, 8 Tests)
Jordan Petaia (23, Queensland Reds, 25 Tests)
David Porecki (30, NSW Waratahs, 10 Tests)
Tom Robertson (28, Western Force, 31 Tests)
Pete Samu (31, ACT Brumbies, 32 Tests)
Blake Schoupp (23, ACT Brumbies, uncapped)
James Slipper (33, ACT Brumbies, 127 Tests)
Darcy Swain (25, ACT Brumbies, 17 Tests)
Jordan Uelese (26, Melbourne Rebels, 15 Tests)
Rob Valetini (24, ACT Brumbies, 30 Tests)
Suliasi Vunivalu (27, Queensland Reds, 1 Test) 
Nic White (32, ACT Brumbies, 59 Tests)
Brad Wilkin (27, Melbourne Rebels, uncapped)
Tom Wright (26, ACT Brumbies, 23 Tests)
Rehab group
Angus Bell
Rob Leota
Taniela Tupou 
Overseas based players to join via Zoom
Richie Arnold
Tom Banks (TBC) 
Quade Cooper 
Bernard Foley 
Marika Koroibete
Samu Kerevi (TBC)
Will Skelton

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