Rugby Union: Young ones given chance on Australia's tour

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The Independent Online
There are four new faces in Australia's 34-man squad for the forthcoming tour of Argentina and Britain. Among the new faces are the exciting under- 21s, Tom Bowman, Jason Jones-Hughes and Stirling Mortlock.

Lock Bowman, centre Jones-Hughes and full-back Mortlock were members of the Under-21 Australia team which won this year's southern hemisphere tournament.

Also making his first appearance on a Wallaby tour will be Queensland state hooker Brendan Cannon.

The four new players come into a depleted Australia squad hit by the loss of six Test-standard players through either injury or poor form. Veteran centre Jason Little declared himself unfit for the tour because of a knee injury.

He joins full-back Matt Burke on the sidelines after Burke missed a large part of the recent domestic season with a persistent groin injury.

Also out of the tour are forwards Dan Crowley, Fili Finau, Daniel Manu and Garrick Morgan. Morgan and Manu were once regular members of the Australian back row but have both been plagued by injuries.

The tour of Argentina and Britain will also be the first in charge for the new coach, Rod Macqueen, since he took over from Greg Smith on 10 September. The Wallabies leave for Argentina on 20 October and will play two Tests against the Pumas before heading to Britain for matches against England at Twickenham on 15 November and Scotland at Murrayfield a week later.

AUSTRALIA Squad (for tour of Argentina and Great Britain in October and November): Backs: Flatley, Gregan, Hardy, Herbert, Holbeck, Horan, Howard, Jones-Hughes, Knox, Larkham, Magro, Mortlock, Payne, Roff, Smith, Tune. Forwards: A Blades, C Blades, Bowman, Cannon, Caputo, Cockbain, Coker, Eales (capt), Finegan, Foley, Giffin, Harry, Heath, Kefu, Langford, Robinson, Waugh, Wilson.

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