Wallabies coach Robbie Deans named James O’Connor as his preferred playmaker in a 25-man squad to face the British and Irish Lions, while leaving the selection door open for the omitted Quade Cooper and Kurtley Beale.
Australia retained Berrick Barnes at fly-half and omitted Quade Cooper for this week’s Rugby Championship opener against world champion New Zealand. Juan Martin Hernandez will make his first start in more than three years for Argentina’s tournament debut in South Africa.
New Zealand hooker Keven Mealamu will become the third All Black to play 100 Tests in this weekend’s Bledisloe Cup rugby finale against Australia, which had to make its second injury-enforced change for the match.
Australia rugby union selectors named the following 40-man Wallabies squad for the July 17 Test against Samoa in Sydney and the July 23-Aug. 27 Tri-Nations tournament. The squad will be trimmed to 30 for the World Cup.