August 5, 2018 / 12:58 AM / 14 days ago

Rugby - England-based Polota-Nau, Toomua named in Wallabies squad

SYDNEY (Reuters) - England-based hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau and utility back Matt Toomua have been included in Australia’s extended 36-man training squad ahead of the Rugby Championship by coach Michael Cheika on Sunday.

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Premiership - Leicester Tigers vs Newcastle Falcons - Welford Road Stadium, Leicester, Britain - April 27, 2018 Leicester Tigers' Tatafu Polota-Nau in action with Newcastle Falcons' Ally Hogg Action Images/Andrew Boyers

Both have been selected under Australia’s ‘Giteau law’, which provides exemption from the Rugby Australia policy of picking only home-based players.

Polota-Nau has reached the requisite minimum 60 caps for the Wallabies, while fellow Leicester team mate became eligible earlier this week after signing with local Super Rugby side Melbourne Rebels for next season.

Toomua was a surprise late inclusion in the Wallabies for their warmup match against a Super Rugby selection in Sydney on Friday.

Cheika also included six uncapped players in his squad, which he will trim next week ahead of the Rugby Championship opener against the All Blacks in Sydney on Aug. 18.

Melbourne prop Jermaine Ainsley and ACT Brumbies hooker Folau Faingaa are the only uncapped players in the forwards.

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Premiership - Leicester Tigers vs Harlequins - Welford Road Stadium, Leicester, Britain - February 17, 2018 Leicester Tigers’ Matt Toomua and Greg Bateman celebrate at the end of the game Action Images/John Clifton

Outside back Tom Banks (Brumbies), Jack Maddocks (Rebels), Jordan Petaia (Queensland Reds) and centre Billy Meakes (Rebels) will also press for an international debut.

The All Blacks opener in Sydney also doubles as the first game of the annual Bledisloe Cup series contested between the nations.

The All Blacks have held the symbol of trans-Tasman supremacy since 2003.

Training squad:

Forwards - Jermaine Ainsley*, Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Folau Faingaa*, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper (captain), Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson, Izack Rodda, Pete Samu, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Caleb Timu, Lukhan Tui, Taniela Tupou.

Backs - Tom Banks*, Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Marika Koroibete, Jack Maddocks*, Billy Meakes*, Sefa Naivalu, Jordan Petaia*, Nick Phipps, Joe Powell, Curtis Rona, Matt Toomua.

* denotes uncapped player

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Ian Ransom

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