Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Pocock back, Sharpe still skipper

Australia openside flanker David Pocock will return for the Wallabies' four-Test tour of Europe - but not as captain.

Veteran Nathan Sharpe will hold onto the armband after leading the side superbly in Pocock's injury-enforced absence over the past few months.

It will be Sharpe's final assignment of his 11-year Test career. Hooker Stephen Moore and utility back Berrick Barnes have been named in the 30-man squad after overcoming injury, with winger Digby Ioane also included despite a recent knee problem.

But Scott Higginbotham, suspended for two matches following an altercation with New Zealand skipper Richie McCaw in last weekend's 18-all draw, was not chosen.

He will be on standby once his ban is lifted.

"To have included Scott within the 30 would have created an additional challenge in terms of selection for the opening two matches which would have compromised the group," coach Robbie Deans said.

"Scott was aware once he was suspended that this was a possibility."

Waratahs prop Paddy Ryan was the only uncapped player selected.

The Wallabies will face France in Paris on November 10, England at Twickenham the following weekend, Italy in Florence on November 24 and finally Wales in Cardiff on December 1.

Australia squad: Nathan Sharpe (capt), David Pocock, Benn Robinson, James Slipper, Sekope Kepu, Ben Alexander, Paddy Ryan, Dave Dennis, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Stephen Moore, James Hanson, Sitaleki Timani, Kane Douglas, Rob Simmons, Michael Hooper, Liam Gill, Wycliff Palu, Radike Samo, Nick Phipps, Mike Harris, Kurtley Beale, Berrick Barnes, Pat McCabe, Anthony Faingaa, Ben Tapuai, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Digby Ioane, Nick Cummins, Drew Mitchell, Brett Sheehan.


From Belfast Telegraph