Naisarani earmarked to join Pocock and Hooper in Wallabies back row

Fijian-born powerhouse Isi Naisarani's potential to solve Australia's back-row dilemma has been underlined, with his naming as a development player to accompany the Wallabies on their spring tour.

Naisarani isn't eligible to represent Australia until April, but the 195cm 23-year-old is widely considered the player who can add much-needed height and bulk alongside world-class flankers Michael Hooper and David Pocock.

Eye to the future: The Fiji-born Isi Naisarani will be eligible to represent Australia early next year.

Eye to the future: The Fiji-born Isi Naisarani will be eligible to represent Australia early next year.Credit:Sitthixay Ditthavong

He played for Western Force in 2017 and the Brumbies this year, before committing to the Melbourne Rebels for next year.

Talented Queensland Reds teenage back Jordan Petaia and halfback Jake Gordon are the only uncapped members of the official 32-man squad.

Petaia would become the third-youngest player to ever debut for the Wallabies, should he make an appearance in the November internationals against either Wales or Italy.

Naisarani and fellow Brumbies back-rower Rob Valentini, who will also travel as a development player, are still to earn a Test cap.

The squad includes three overseas-based players.

Utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper, who is based in Japan with Kobe Steelers, has the chance to add to his tally of 116 caps – the last being in 2016.

Veteran hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau will link up with the Wallabies in Wales, after playing for Leicester in the English Premiership since his last Test appearance in September against Argentina on the Gold Coast.

Playmaker Matt Toomua is still attached to Leicester despite playing all six Rugby Championship matches.

Of the squad originally named for last week's Bledisloe Cup Test, hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa and uncapped lock-flanker Jed Holloway have been omitted.

Holloway has been battling with hamstring and back niggles.

Lock Adam Coleman has been training fully after missing the Bledisloe game with a groin problem.

Wallabies Squad


Jermaine Ainsley (Rebels), Allan Alaalatoa (Brumbies), Rory Arnold (Brumbies), Adam Coleman (Rebels), Jack Dempsey (Waratahs), Folau Fainga'a ( Brumbies), Ned Hanigan (Waratahs), Michael Hooper (capt, Waratahs), Sekope Kepu (Waratahs ), Tolu Latu (Waratahs), Tatafu Polota-Nau (Leicester, England) David Pocock (Brumbies), Izack Rodda (Reds), Rob Simmons (Waratahs), Pete Samu (Brumbies), Scott Sio (Brumbies), Taniela Tupou (Reds).


Adam Ashley-Cooper (Kobe Steelers, Japan), Tom Banks (Brumbies), Kurtley Beale, (Waratahs), Israel Folau (Waratahs), Bernard Foley (Waratahs), Will Genia (Rebels), Jake Gordon* (Waratahs), Dane Haylett-Petty (Rebels), Samu Kerevi (Reds), Marika Koroibete (Rebels), Jack Maddocks (Rebels), Sefa Naivalu (Rebels), Jordan Petaia (Reds), Nick Phipps (Waratahs), Matt Toomua (Leicester, England/Rebels)

Development players

Rob Valetini* (Brumbies), Isi Naisarani* (Rebels)


Spring tour matches

  • Wales (Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Sunday November 11, 4:05am AEDT)
  • Italy (Stadio Euganeo, Padua, Sunday November 18, 12:45am AEDT)
  • England (Twickenham Stadium, London, Sunday November 25, 1:45am AEDT).


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