The West

Sharpe holds spot but Cummins cut
Sharpe holds spot but Cummins cut

Retiring Western Force veteran Nathan Sharpe has retained his spot in the Wallabies squad for the Rugby Championship.

The only other Force player in the initial squad, winger Nick Cummins, has missed out.

Departed flanker David Pocock was named captain.

Sharpe, 34, has an opportunity to chase down George Smith as the second most capped Wallaby.

He has worn the Wallaby jumper 105 times and, with seven Tests ahead, could overtake the 110 caps won by flanker Smith.

Winger Drew Mitchell and back-rower Radike Samo, who missed out on the June Tests when Australia were upset by Scotland before clean sweeping Wales, have worked their way back into the squad.

Mitchell, the Wallabies sixth highest try scorer, returns from ankle and hamstring injuries and Samo from shoulder damage.

Four uncapped members, Liam Gill, Jake Schatz, Kane Douglas and Nic White, were included. The inaugural Rugby Championship, which introduces Argentina to the annual southern hemisphere competition for the first time, will run over six weekends between August 18 and October 6.

Australia won the final Tri- Nations tournament last year, a decade after the Wallabies had won the second of their three titles, in 2001.

  • Squad: *Ben Alexander, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Berrick Barnes, Kurtley Beale, Quade Cooper, Dave Dennis, Kane Douglas, Anthony Faingaa, Will Genia, Liam Gill, Mike Harris, Scott Higginbotham, Michael Hooper, Rob Horne, Digby Ioane, Sekope Kepu, Drew Mitchell, Stephen Moore, Nick Phipps, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson, Radike Samo, Jake Schatz, Nathan Sharpe, Rob Simmons, James Slipper, Sitaleki Timani, Nic White.

The West Australian

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