Queensland Reds star Fraser McReight’s selection in the Australia ‘A’ team caps off a solid squad head of next month’s Pacific Nations Cup in Fiji.
McReight’s omission from the Wallabies team raised plenty of eyebrows but it’s understood coach Dave Rennie still has a high opinion of the 23-year-old with his talent over the ball held in high esteem by the coaching staff.
The Reds flanker is stuck behind John Eales Medallist and Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper on the depth chart, with Rennie happy to give him time in the Australia ‘A’ team to help him develop on the international level.
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The squad includes eight capped Wallabies in addition to up-and-coming players that impressed during Super Rugby Pacific. Experienced campaigner Reece Hodge headlines the team with Feleti Kaitu’u, Tom Robertson, Lalakai Foketi and Filipo Daugunu.
Waratahs assistant coach Jason Gilmore will coach the side and said he’s looking forward to linking up with players he’s had experience with in the past, with McReight, Ben Donaldson, Will Harris and Mark Nawaqantiawase, all playing in the 2019 U20 Championships.
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“The team has a good combination of experienced and young players and I think the team will get a lot out of the upcoming tournament in Fiji,” Gilmore said in a statement.
“Looking at some of the names included in the squad, it is apparent that the depth within Australian Rugby continues to grow and I think our inclusion in the Pacific Nations Cup will be beneficial.”
The Pacific Nations Cup will be played over three weekends from July 2.
Australia A Pacific Nations Cup Squad
Tim Anstee (Western Force)
Jock Campbell (Queensland Reds)
Filipo Daugunu (Queensland Reds)
Ben Donaldson (NSW Waratahs)
Tane Edmed (NSW Waratahs)
Matt Faessler (Queensland Reds)
Lalakai Foketi (NSW Waratahs)
Feao Fotuaika (Queensland Reds)
Matt Gibbon (Melbourne Rebels)
Langi Gleeson (NSW Waratahs)
Ned Hanigan (NSW Waratahs)
Will Harris (NSW Waratahs)
Reece Hodge (Melbourne Rebels)
Harry Hoopert (Queensland Reds)
Harry Johnson-Holmes (NSW Waratahs)
Feleti Kaitu’u (Western Force)
Ryan Lonergan (Brumbies)
Ryan McCauley (Western Force)
Fraser McReight (Queensland Reds)
Andy Muirhead (Brumbies)
Mark Nawaqanitawase (NSW Waratahs)
Dylan Pietsch (NSW Waratahs)
Billy Pollard (Brumbies)
Jackson Pugh (Western Force)
Tom Robertson (Western Force)
Ryan Smith (Queensland Reds)
Hamish Stewart (Queensland Reds)
Jake Strachan (Western Force)
Seru Uru (Queensland Reds)
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