Rugby: Wallabies confirm extended squad for Rugby Championship

The Wallabies are still waiting for veteran playmaker Matt Giteau to join their ranks as they build toward their opening Rugby Championship Test next month. Photo / File
The Wallabies are still waiting for veteran playmaker Matt Giteau to join their ranks as they build toward their opening Rugby Championship Test next month. Photo / File

Playmaker Matt Giteau has been included in the Wallabies' 36-man train-on squad for The Rugby Championship despite a dispute with his club side Toulon.

Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal had threatened to withhold Giteau's wages should he depart France for Test duty and it appears that will again be the case - as it was during the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Giteau will join the Wallabies squad in Sydney on Monday.

Mercurial fly half Quade Cooper also returns to the squad after signing a three-year deal with the Australian Rugby Union, along with France-based stars Will Genia, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Drew Mitchell.

The squad included four uncapped players in Waratahs tight-head prop Tom Robertson, Rebels duo Lopeti Timani and Reece Hodge, and Brumbies loose-head Allan Alaalatoa.

Among the big names to miss out on selection are Liam Gill and Greg Holmes, who are both moving overseas, along with former Wallabies captain James Horwill, Karmichael Hunt, Leroy Houston, Christian Lealiifano, Sam Carter and Taqele Naiyaravoro.

No 8 Wycliff Palu has retired from Test rugby.

The Wallabies open The Rugby Championship against the All Blacks in Sydney on August 20.

"We have had a great week with the players in our initial training squad and they've enjoyed working hard together," coach Michael Cheika said.

"Next week's training squad will include selected players from Canberra and we will start to look closely at the final 33 in preparation for the Central Coast camp.

"All of our eligible European-based players expressed a desire to play for the Wallabies during The Rugby Championship and that experience is invaluable.

"We have a very clear purpose in this team and we are prepared to work very hard to respect that purpose."

Wallabies squad: Allan Alaalatoa, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Adam Coleman, Quade Cooper, Kane Douglas, Scott Fardy, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Nick Frisby, Will Genia, Matt Giteau, James Hanson, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Michael Hooper, Rob Horne, Sekope Kepu, Samu Kerevi, Tevita Kuridrani, Ben McCalman, Sean McMahon, Drew Mitchell, Luke Morahan, Stephen Moore (cap), Dean Mumm, Nick Phipps, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Will Skelton, James Slipper, Toby Smith, Lopeti Timani, Matt Toomua

- news.com.au

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