Wallabies recall Will Skelton, Tolu Latu and Rory Arnold

Date published: October 8 2021 - News Desk

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has called up France-based forward trio Will Skelton, Tolu Latu and Rory Arnold for the upcoming end-of-year tour.

It marks a remarkable return for Skelton, who has established himself as one of the premier locks in the world, last pulling on the Wallabies jersey in 2016.

Latu set to make first Test appearance since 2019

The La Rochelle second-row is joined by fellow lock Arnold (Toulouse) and hooker Latu (Stade Francais), who will potentially make their first appearance since the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Japanese-based trio Quade Cooper, Sean McMahon and Samu Kerevi have also been named in the 37-man squad, with Kerevi still racing the clock to overcome an ankle injury.

Waratahs centre Izaia Perese and Brumbies hooker Connal McInerney have are amongst four uncapped players named for the tour, which will start against Japan on October 23. The other uncapped players are Waratahs centre Lalakai Foketi and Rebels prop Pone Fa’amausili.

Perese was originally named in the squad to face France in July but was forced to withdraw after picking up a shoulder injury in the final match of Super Rugby Trans-Tasman.

“Firstly we’re extremely grateful to be able to represent Australia on the world stage in the current environment and that’s something that’s not lost on this group,” Rennie said in a statement.

“We’ve been building as a squad over the past 18 months or so and to get a chance to head to the northern hemisphere and test ourselves against four really strong International sides is a great opportunity to learn more about ourselves.”

A number of younger Wallabies will remain in Australia including Harry Wilson, Noah Lolesio and Fraser McReight with an eye on the future, allowing them to continue their development and complete full pre-seasons with their Super Rugby clubs.

“To have a few experienced players from overseas join us will no doubt help our development as we continue to grow and improve as a team, while those back here in Australia will get a decent offseason to make the necessary shifts in their games to excel at Test level,” added Rennie.

The Wallabies kick off their tour against Japan in Oita on Saturday, October 23 before facing Scotland at Murrayfield on Sunday, November 7, England at Twickenham on Saturday, November 13 and Wales at the Principality Stadium on Saturday, November 20.

Wallabies squad

Forwards: Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Angus Bell, Pone Fa’amausili, Folau Fainga’a, Michael Hooper (c), Feleti Kaitu’u, Andrew Kellaway, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Tolu Latu, Rob Leota, Connal McInerney, Sean McMahon, Matt Philip, Tom Robertson, Izack Rodda, Pete Samu, Will Skelton, James Slipper, Darcy Swain, Lachlan Swinton, Taniela Tupou, Rob Valetini

Backs: Quade Cooper, Filipo Daugunu, Lalakai Foketi, Jake Gordon, Reece Hodge, Len Ikitau, Tate McDermott, James O’Connor, Hunter Paisami, Izaia Perese, Jordan Petaia, Nic White, Tom Wright