The West

Foley tips Wallabies will look to Force

Four Western Force players have been selected in the Wallabies squad for the Rugby Championship that kicks off next month.

Captain Matt Hodgson, No.8 Ben McCalman, hooker Nathan Charles and prop Pek Cowan are in the 32-man squad.

While pleased for those players, Force coach Michael Foley is confident of having another batch on the verge of Wallabies selection.

"I'm ecstatic for those guys especially when you consider the work they have put in. They have been very, very consistent performers," Foley said.

"I'm particularly pleased for Pek and Matt, having been in the Wallabies before, (three years ago) really focus over the last 18 months on improvement and development and having delivered that on the field."

Injuries to centre Kyle Godwin and winger Luke Morahan ruled them out of contention but Foley believes they would have been on Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie's radar.

"There are definitely a number of our guys who would have gone close had they not got bumps and bruises," Foley said.

"There's another group that is right on the fringe that can certainly challenge over the next 12 months.

"Kyle and Luke are two guys that certainly could have been considered had they not been bumped.

"Outside of that there is another group of guys like Adam (Coleman), Gus (Cottrell) and Wyksey (Sam Wykes) that if they chase improvement over this next period that we are about to undertake could come into next season even better."

Former Force winger Nick Cummins was overlooked after he announced he was moving to Japan next season.

His replacement, Fijian-born Brumbies flyer Henry Speight, has been picked despite being ineligible until September 11.

Scrum-half Will Genia, who is recovering from ankle surgery, may be ready for the September 6 clash against South Africa at Patersons Stadium.

Melbourne second-rower Luke Jones, who debuted in the second Test against France, has been dropped following impressive first games by Sam Carter and Will Skelton. Brumbies duo Ben Alexander and Joe Tomane have returned from injuries.


  • Forwards *: Ben Alexander, Pek Cowan, James Slipper, Sekope Kepu, Scott Sio, Tatafu Polota-Nau, James Hanson, Nathan Charles, James Horwill, Rob Simmons, Will Skelton, Sam Carter, Scott Fardy, Scott Higginbotham, Michael Hooper (capt), Matt Hodgson, Wycliff Palu, Ben McCalman. *Backs *: Nic White, Nick Phipps, Luke Burgess, Bernard Foley, Kurtley Beale, Matt Toomua, Christian Leali'ifano, Tevita Kuridrani, Rob Horne, Joe Tomane, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Henry Speight, Pat McCabe, Israel Folau.

with Australian Associated Press

The West Australian

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