Australia A Head Coach Jason Gilmore has nine Waratahs in his squad ahead of next month’s Pacific Nations Cup in Fiji.
The squad features eight capped Wallabies as well as in-form players from Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific in 2022.
54 Test Wallaby Reece Hodge is the most experienced inclusion in the squad and will provide utility value across the backline for the team.
Hodge is joined by Feleti Kaitu'u, Tom Robertson, Fraser McReight, Lalakai Foketi, and Filipo Daugunu who all earned Test caps in 2022 during The Rugby Championship and Spring Tour.
Backrower Ned Hanigan has also been named in the squad after making his return to Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific for the NSW Waratahs following a stint in Japan with the Kurita Water Gush.
Ben Donaldson, Will Harris, Mark Nawaqanitawase and McReight will reunite with their former Junior Wallabies Coach from the 2019 U20s Championship where Australia fell just short against France in the decider.
The team is comprised of nine players each from the Waratahs and Reds, seven from the Western Force, three Brumbies, and two Rebels.
The group will assemble on Sunday 26 June in Sydney before traveling to Fiji for their first game on Saturday 2 July against Samoa in Suva.
Australia A Head Coach Jason Gilmore said: “The team has a good combination of experienced and young players and I think the team will get a lot out of the upcoming tournament in Fiji.
“Looking at some of the names included in the squad it is apparent that the depth within Australian Rugby continues to grow and I think our inclusion in the Pacific Nations Cup will be beneficial.”
Waratahs Head Coach Darren Coleman was excited about the development opportunities the program will offer his players.
“It’s great to see all those guys get rewarded for their strong form at the Waratahs and get the opportunity to play Australia A with quality matches against Test opposition,” Coleman said.
“Having six players selected for the Wallabies and nine selected for Australia A is a great reflection of the quality of the program we are running at the Waratahs and the hard work that the staff and players have put in throughout the year.
“The level of rugby these guys will get exposed to is not only great for their individual development but the experience they will bring back to the Waratahs and our program as a whole.”
Australia A Pacific Nations Cup Squad
Tim Anstee (Western Force) Jock Campbell (Queensland Reds) Filipo Daugunu (Queensland Reds) Ben Donaldson (NSW Waratahs) Tane Edmed (NSW Waratahs) Matt Faessler (Queensland Reds) Lalakai Foketi (NSW Waratahs) Feao Fotuaika (Queensland Reds) Matt Gibbon (Melbourne Rebels) Langi Gleeson (NSW Waratahs) Ned Hanigan (NSW Waratahs) Will Harris (NSW Waratahs) Reece Hodge (Melbourne Rebels) Harry Hoopert (Queensland Reds) Harry Johnson-Holmes (NSW Waratahs) Feleti Kaitu'u (Western Force) Ryan Lonergan (Brumbies) Ryan McCauley (Western Force) Fraser McReight (Queensland Reds) Andy Muirhead (Brumbies) Mark Nawaqanitawase (NSW Waratahs) Dylan Pietsch (NSW Waratahs) Billy Pollard (Brumbies) Jackson Pugh (Western Force) Tom Robertson (Western Force) Ryan Smith (Queensland Reds) Hamish Stewart (Queensland Reds) Jake Strachan (Western Force) Seru Uru (Queensland Reds