Sitaleki Timani recalled by Australia with 11 uncapped players selected for France series

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Sitaleki Timani recalled by Australia with 11 uncapped players selected for France series


Sitaleki Timani could bring back his Wallabies against France

Sitaleki Timani has returned to the Wallabies roster after eight years of self-imposed exile as Australia coach Dave Rennie has named a 38-man squad for next month’s three-test series against France.

Rennie has selected 11 uncapped players for his squad, which has been expanded to ease the streak’s compressed timeline with three games in 10 days.

Timani won the last of his 18 caps against Scotland in 2013 before leaving to play club rugby in France for Montpellier and Clermont.

The 34-year-old lock returned late last year and signed for Western Force, making him eligible to play for his country again.

“We picked this team based on their form and potential, and I know the whole squad is really excited to get stuck and defend their record for a Wallaby shirt against France,” said Rennie.

Waratahs center Lalakai Foketi is one of 11 uncapped players called up

Australia’s backline was exhausted by injuries to Dane Haylett-Petty, Jordan Petaia and top rugby league convert Suliasi Vunivalu, but playmaker James O’Connor has recovered from an injury around the neck to take his place in the team.

Flanker Michael Hooper returns from a sabbatical in Japan to become team captain.

Matt Philip is also returning to bolster second-row stocks after a short spell in France following his breakthrough in the test season last year.

Cowardly Waratahs forward Lachie Swinton, sent off on his debut against the All Blacks last year, has been included although he also received a red card in their Trans-Tasman Super Rugby loss to the Chiefs.

His Waratahs teammate Izaia Perese was among the uncapped fullbacks named to the squad despite a shoulder injury on Saturday.

Among the more surprising inclusions were Melbourne rebels Andrew Kellaway and Michael Wells, along with Perese’s central Waratah partner Lalakai Foketi.

Australia’s series with France begins in Sydney on July 7 before games in Melbourne and Brisbane on July 13 and 17 respectively.

Australia

Of the : Tom Banks, Philip Daugunu, Foketi Men, Jake Gordon, Reece Hodge, Len Ikitau, Andrew Kellaway, Marika Koroibete, Noah Lolesio, Tate McDermott, Andy Muirhead, James O’Connor, Hunter Paisami, Izaia Perese, Matt Toomua, Nic White, Tom Wright.

Forward: Allan Alaalatoa, Angus Bell, Pone Faamausili, Michael Hooper (c), Feleti Kaitu, Rob Leota, Lachlan Lonergan, Fraser McReight, Isi Naisarani, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Matt Philip, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Darcy Swain, Lachie Swinton, Sitaleki Timani, Taniela Tupou, Rob Valetini, Michael Wells, Harry Wilson.

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