This Thursday Eddie Jones informed the 33 players selected to compete in the 2023 World Cup. To everyone’s surprise, Michael Hooper is not one of them. Rochelle’s Will Skelton has been named captain of the Wallabies for the competition, Toulouse’s Richie Arnold will also be there.
It’s a surprise, it’s a huge surprise! The man with 125 caps with the Wallabies and captain for several seasons, third-row Michael Hooper (31) will not travel to France. The Waratahs player injured his shin a month ago and has not recovered sufficiently to be 100% at the World Cup. Other local media cite a simple choice by Eddie Jones, who did not wish to call Hooper.
At the level of selected players, the other big surprise is Will Skelton. The colossus of La Rochelle has been named Australia’s captain for this World Cup. Long undesirable in selection, the second row is now the boss of the Australian forward package. Still in the front eight is Toulouse’s Richie Arnold.
He was captain against the All Blacks last weekend, as Tate McDermott continues to climb the ranks in Australian selection. The Queensland Reds scrum-half will serve as vice-captain for the Wallabies. Former Montpellier player Nick White has also been selected for the same post.
As far as opening parts go, the Quad Cooper remains on the floor. Young Carter Gordon is given priority over him. In his back line, Jones has decided to rely on youngsters but also some regular players from international games like Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete or Jordan Petia.
Note that in this list of 33, they are the only 8 who have already played World Cups. In the still figures, three newborns are called out: Blake Shoop, Isaac Fiennes-Lelivasa, Max Jorgensen.
Full Australia squad:
pillars : Angus Bell, Pone Fa’amausili, Zane Ngongor, Blake Schupp, James Slipper, Taniela Tupou.
hookers : Matt Fessler, David Porecki, Jordan Ulyse.
second line : Richie Arnold, Nick Frost, Matt Phillippe, Will Skelton (cap.)
third row : Langie Gleason, Tom Hooper, Rob Leotta, Fraser McWright, Rob Valentini.
scrum half : Issac Fines-Lelivasa, Tate McDermott, Nick White.
half opening : Carter Gordon.
centers : Lalakai Foketi, Samu Kerevi, Izia Perez, Jordan Petaia.
winger : Max Jorgensen, Andrew Kellaway, Marika Koroibete, Mark Nwakanitawase, Suliasi Vunivalu.
versatile bench : Ben Donaldson, Josh Kemeny.