Son of famous Wallaby receives Australia call-up as Joe Schmidt selects first Test squad which includes ex-All Black

Colin Newboult
Wallabies head coach Joe Schmidt and Reds star Tom Lynagh, who is the son of Michael.

Wallabies head coach Joe Schmidt and Reds star Tom Lynagh, who is the son of Michael.

Joe Schmidt has named his first ever squad as Wallabies head coach ahead of the July Tests against Wales and Georgia.

It includes 12 uncapped players with Tom Lynagh, son of the great Michael, the headline inclusion after a fine season for the Reds.

Former All Black Alex Hodgman, who has switched allegiance to Australia, was also selected in the squad after completing his stand-down period.

Hodgman earned four caps for New Zealand but qualifies for the Wallabies via his Melbourne-born father.

Experienced playmaker back

Meanwhile, there was a recall for the experienced Kurtley Beale, who has impressed since returning to rugby with the Western Force.

“He’s in the squad and if you’re in the squad, you’re a chance to put the boots on in a 23 at some stage during the three-week period,” Schmidt told reporters.

“Kurtley’s played well. Feedback from the Force has been really positive about his influence.”

Schmidt has decided against calling up anyone from overseas, with just Australian-based players considered, while those who have signed abroad have also been omitted.

That includes the rugby league-bound Carter Gordon and Mark Nawaqanitawase, as well as Jordan Uelese and Izack Rodda, who are set to play in France next season.

Interestingly, there is no Jordan Petaia in the squad amid rumours that he is set to follow Louis Rees-Zammit and quit the sport for American football.

Petaia was not on the list of injured players named by Rugby Australia, which includes Angus Bell, Rob Leota and Lachlan Lonergan.

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Shock omission

Of those that were were available to the head coach, the omission of Tim Ryan was the biggest shock given his stunning form for the Reds.

“I think anyone was tempted to pick Tim Ryan. And I had a super conversation with him around selection and around his readiness for selection,” Schmidt explained.

“One of the things you’ve got to be just a little bit wary of is to be tempted by the excitement of a young kid who plays really well. And then the reality of a readiness to play at that level and the sort of players that he’s going to come up against.

“We’ll enjoy tracking him and potentially Tim being involved at some time in the future. But Darby, his speed is very, very good. He is a very good defender post-tackle, puts a lot of pressure on.

“And I just think that it’s a great opportunity for him to get in and learn a bit of his craft in a Wallabies environment.”

Joe Schmidt’s 38-man squad for July Tests

Forwards Allan Alaalatoa, Angus Blyth, Charlie Cale, Matt Faessler, Nick Frost, Langi Gleeson, Alex Hodgman, Tom Hooper, Isaac Kailea, Fraser McReight, Josh Nasser, Zane Nonggorr, Billy Pollard, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Ryan Smith, James Slipper, Taniela Tupou, Rob Valetini, Jeremy Williams, Harry Wilson, Liam Wright

Backs: Kurtley Beale, Filipo Daugunu, Ben Donaldson, David Feliuai, Josh Flook, Jake Gordon, Len Ikitau, Andrew Kellaway, Darby Lancaster, Noah Lolesio, Tom Lynagh, Tate McDermott, Hunter Paisami, Dylan Pietsch, Hamish Stewart, Nic White, Tom Wright

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