Former captain James Horwill and halfback Nic White are the big omissions from Australia’s Rugby World Cup squad, announced on Friday.
Skipper for the Wallabies at the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand, Horwill has been overlooked with Kane Douglas returning as one of coach Michael Cheika’s four specialist second-rowers in the 31-man squad.
White was the match-winning reserve in the Wallabies’ Bledisloe Cup Test win in Sydney this month and he started in the return 41-13 loss to the All Blacks.
However, he was left out as Cheika went with just two specialist halfbacks in Nick Phipps and Will Genia, with utility Matt Giteau to serve as back up at the global showpiece in Britain starting next month.
Veteran Giteau’s selection caps off his return after he moved to France when controversially omitted for the 2011 World Cup.
Cheika has also opted to only take two specialist hookers – team captain Stephen Moore and Tatafu Polota-Nau, with James Hanson left behind.
Horwill, White and Hanson have been named in an extended squad that will travel to Chicago for a Test against USA on September 5.
Others in the extended squad, who will be on standby in case of any tournament-ending injuries occur, are forwards Sam Carter, David Dennis, Tetera Faulkner, Scott Higginbotham and backs Samu Kerevi, Christian Lealiifano and Taqele Naiyaravoro.
The bolter in the squad is Melbourne Rebels prop Toby Smith.
Wallabies Squad for Rugby World Cup 2015:
Backs: Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper (vice-capt), Rob Horne, Drew Mitchell, Henry Speight, Joe Tomane, Tevita Kuridrani, Kurtley Beale, Matt Giteau, Matt Toomua, Quade Cooper, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Nick Phipps.
Forwards: Wycliff Palu, David Pocock, Michael Hooper (vice-capt), Ben McCalman, Sean McMahon, Scott Fardy, Kane Douglas, Dean Mumm, Rob Simmons, Will Skelton, Stephen Moore, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Greg Holmes, Sekope Kepu, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Toby Smith.