The ARU has announced today that Nick Phipps, Ben McCalman and Kane Douglas will join the preliminary Wallaby squad of 25. This follows the news that Digby Ioane still can’t train, while Sitaleki Timani (thumb) and Scott Higginbotham (dislocated shoulder) have both sustained injuries during the weekend’s matches.
If the call up of Phipps was a surprise to you, it was also a surprise to the Rebels half-back. According to the ARU,
‘Phipps described the call up as a “pleasant surprise” admitting he felt he had “left my run too late” after starring in the Rebels upset win over the Stormers of South Africa, two days before the preliminary Wallabies squad was named’
According to Robbie Deans,
“His [Dignby Ioane’s] absence from training opened up the opportunity to add another player. Nick [Phipps] has been playing well, has background with us through his experience last year and is a player who was always in our thoughts.”
Deans says that Nic White, who had yet another blinder for the Brumbies as they defeated the Hurricanes on Friday night, could yet be added to the group among the final six players named. White will play for the Brumbies during this weekend’s Super Rugby match against the Melbourne Rebels in Canberra.
Meanwhile Kurtley Beale, who was watched by Bill Pulver during his match for Randwick against Sydney Uni, will train with the Wallabies next week. We hear whispers that he is slotted into the run on full-back jersey for the opening Lions Test already.