Not withstanding the ungracious opposition of his talkative team-mate David Campese, the Australian selectors yesterday rewarded the astounding recuperation of their other great threequarter by including Tim Horan in their World Cup squad.
Until his recent comeback Horan, 24, had been out of rugby for nearly a year after suffering a serious knee injury playing in the centre for Queensland in the 1994 Super 10 final against Natal. Campese decided that Horan should not now be chosen and last week said so publicly.
Though Campese has since been roundly condemned, Bob Dwyer, coach of the Wallabies, said yesterday that Horan would not be considered until after the World Cup's opening match against South Africa in Cape Town on 25 May. Canada and Romania complete the group. "It's like a new Test career, like I am just about to make my Test debut," Horan said.
Meanwhile, the Australian Rugby Union has begun a charm offensive aimed at persuading those who have missed out on selection to resist the lure of Rupert Murdoch's rugby league money.
"It's important for them to understand they have a great future in the game and realise the opportunities that exist," Phil Harry, the ARU president, said.
Having been rewarded for risking a full-strength side with a half-century of points and no injuries in the last league match against Orrell, the Wasps selectors readily named the same again last night for the Pilkington Cup final against Bath at Twickenham on Saturday.
This entails two changes from the semi-final conquerors of Leicester - Nick Greenstock for Shane Roiser on the left wing and Darren Molloy at prop for Nick Popplewell, who will be playing for Ireland in Italy. Without Popplewell, Wasps will pit four internationals against Bath's 10.
Popplewell will not be joined in Italy by the scrum-half Michael Bradley, who pulled out of the Ireland team yesterday as he is still recovering from hamstring damage. His place goes to the Ireland A scrum-half, David O'Mahony, while Alain Rolland will sit on the bench.
AUSTRALIA WORLD CUP SQUAD: Full-backs: M Burke, M Pini; Wings: D Campese, J Roff, D Smith; Centres: D Herbert, T Horan, J Little; Outside-halves: S Bowen, M Lynagh (capt); Scrum-halves: G Gregan, P Slattery; Props: D Crowley, A Daly, M Hartill, E McKenzie; Hookers: M Foley, P Kearns; Locks: J Eales, R McCall, W Waugh; Back row: T Coker, T Gavin, W Ofahengaue, I Tabua, D Wilson.
Wasps (v Bath, Pilkington Cup final, Twickenham, Saturday): J Ufton; P Hopley, D Hopley, G Childs, N Greenstock; R Andrew, S Bates; D Molloy, K Dunn, I Dunston, M Greenwood, N Hadley, L Dallaglio, D Ryan (capt), M White. Replacements: S Pilgrim, G Gregory, A Gommersall, R Kinsey, G Holmes, P Delaney.Reuse content