Ex-league star Israel Folau in preliminary Australia squad but Quade Cooper left out
Last Updated: 12/04/13 10:31am
Israel Folau: Named in 30-man preliminary Australia squad
Former Australia rugby league international Israel Folau has been named in a 30-man Wallabies preliminary squad ahead of the Lions tour - but there is no place for Quade Cooper or Kurtley Beale.
Folau, who played league and Aussie Rules before switching to United, has been in fine form for NSW Waratahs.
Cooper, who was banned for three games in October and fined for criticising Australia coach Robbie Deans, was the most notable omission, along with Beale.
Deans insists, though, that both could still be considered for the three Tests with the Lions.
"Kurtley's obviously not playing at the moment, he's sought help which is great and he's going through a counselling process," Deans said of Beale, who is taking an indefinite break from the game to deal with personal issues relating to alcohol following a fight with Melbourne Rebels team-mates.
"I think Quade is working his way back, he's starting to put some good pieces together," Deans said. "We've talked routinely and he's very clear, he understands what's required at this level. He's got a good insight into what we're looking for and we can see him working at that stuff as well, so that's good."
The squad will get together in Sydney over the weekend in what has been termed a logistical exercise in off-field requirements and team planning ahead of the Tests.
The Australian Rugby Union said although it is not an official Wallabies squad, the selection, which features seven uncapped players, rewards those who have shown strong form in this year's Super 15 series.
A squad of 25 players to go into a Wallabies camp will be announced on May 18.
A further six players will be added as soon as Super Rugby breaks for the June Tests, with the final Wallabies squad of 31 for the Lions series to be unveiled on June 11.
The opening game of the three-Test series against the Lions takes place in Brisbane on June 22.
Preliminary squad - Jesse Mogg (Brumbies), Israel Folau (Waratahs), Digby Ioane (Reds), Joe Tomane (Brumbies), Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs), Ben Tapuai (Reds), Pat McCabe (Brumbies), Christian Lealiifano (Brumbies), Berrick Barnes (Waratahs), James O'Connor (Rebels), Nic White (Brumbies), Will Genia (Reds), Wycliff Palu (Waratahs), Fotu Auelua (Brumbies), Michael Hooper (Waratahs), Liam Gill (Reds), Dave Dennis (Waratahs), Scott Higginbotham (Rebels), Ben Mowen (Brumbies), Rob Simmons (Reds), James Horwill (Reds), Kane Douglas (Waratahs), Sitaleki Timani (Waratahs), Dan Palmer (Brumbies), James Slipper (Reds), Ben Alexander (Brumbies), Benn Robinson (Waratahs), Scott Sio (Brumbies), Stephen Moore (Brumbies), Tatafu Polota-Nau (Waratahs).