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Folau in, Cooper out

12th April 2013 06:27

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Israel Folau Waratahs v Brumbies SR 2013

Folau: Included in Wallabies camp

As expected, fly-half Quade Cooper has been left out of the Wallabies training squad to begin preparations for the British and Irish Lions tour.

Thirty players will gather in Sydney on Sunday, with Rugby League convert Israel Folau one of seven without a Test cap.

Folau has been recognised for his fine Super Rugby form with the Waratahs since switching to Union from League via Aussie Rules.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said exclusion from the latest selection "did not" rule players out of participation in the Lions Test series.

Reds playmaker Cooper, who was fined Aus$60,000 (US$63,100) and banned for three games last October for bringing the game into disrepute by criticising Deans, was the most notable omission.

The 25-year-old made headlines when he lashed out on social media at the "toxic" environment within the national squad and the defensive style of the coach.

The squad will get together in Sydney over the weekend in what has been termed a logistical exercise in off-field requirements and team planning ahead of the Lions Tests in June-July.

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) said although it is not an official Wallabies squad, the selection, which features seven uncapped players, rewards those who have shown strong form in this year's Super Rugby series.

Deans said the gathering, which wraps up on Monday, will allow the players to complete the team's pre-Lions commercial obligations, with some specific rugby-related planning also involved.

A squad of 25 players to go into a Wallabies camp will be announced on May 18.

A further six players will be added as soon as Super Rugby breaks for the June Tests, with the final Wallabies squad of 31 for the Lions series to be unveiled on June 11.

The opening game of the three-Test series against the Lions takes place in Brisbane on June 22.

Wallabies preliminary squad: Jesse Mogg (Brumbies), Israel Folau (Waratahs), Digby Ioane (Reds), Joe Tomane (Brumbies), Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs), Ben Tapuai (Reds), Pat McCabe (Brumbies), Christian Lealiifano (Brumbies), Berrick Barnes (Waratahs), James O'Connor (Rebels), Nic White (Brumbies), Will Genia (Reds), Wycliff Palu (Waratahs), Fotu Auelua (Brumbies), Michael Hooper (Waratahs), Liam Gill (Reds), Dave Dennis (Waratahs), Scott Higginbotham (Rebels), Ben Mowen (Brumbies), Rob Simmons (Reds), James Horwill (Reds), Kane Douglas (Waratahs), Sitaleki Timani (Waratahs), Dan Palmer (Brumbies), James Slipper (Reds), Ben Alexander (Brumbies), Benn Robinson (Waratahs), Scott Sio (Brumbies), Stephen Moore (Brumbies), Tatafu Polota-Nau (Waratahs).