Australia’s big five overseas stars are back in the Wallabies squad for The Rugby Championship that heads for the Northern Hemisphere for the first time this year.
Matt Giteau, Will Genia, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Drew Mitchell and Quade Cooper have 410 international caps between them and join the 33-man group preparing for the tournament.
Head Coach Michael Cheika’s side start the defence of their title against New Zealand in Sydney on August 20 and arrive at Twickenham Stadium to take on Argentina on October 8.
Ashley-Cooper, Genia, Giteau and Mitchell all featured in Australia’s World Cup final appearance last year but all were absent during the 3-0 series defeat against England this summer.
Midfield playmaker Giteau returns from Toulon determined to add to his 102 caps. His last appearance was cut short after he was pulled out of the 2015 final in the first half with concussion.
“I always had that burning desire – I knew when I watched the boys play against England that I wanted to be involved,” said Giteau. “What you want to do and what you actually can do are two totally different things but then I was given the opportunity from ‘Cheik’ to come back and, of course, I took it. The biggest lure is to play for my country. I don’t think there’s a greater honour, talking to anyone who plays professional sport,” He added: “I thought the World Cup was probably my last game for my country but just the way it ended for me, it left a bit of a bitter taste.”
Head Coach Cheika has named four uncapped players in his squad – Allan Ala’alatoa, Reece Hodge, Tom Robertson and Lopeti Timani. But Wasps-bound Kurtley Beale, Rory Arnold and Joe Tomane have been ruled out through injury.
Tickets to Argentina v Australia at Twickenham Stadium are available from £45 for adults, £25 for children (U16) and a family package (2 adults & 2 children) for £115. (Booking fees apply) Click here for details