Overseas-based Wallabies might miss England series

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Drew Mitchell

Drew Mitchell

Australia coach Michael Cheika says some leading players may skip the three-test series against England in June due to their heavy workload through the European season.

Cheika said he had spoken to several Wallabies players during a trip to Europe on which he watched Six Nations matches, and while they were all keen to play this season, it might not be against England.

Cheika said it is unlikely players who had completed a full European season would be considered for the England series, and would instead be held back for the Rugby Championship later in the year.

Among the overseas-based players whose fitness will be managed are France-based backs Drew Mitchell and Matt Giteau, prop Sekope Kepu, scrumhalf Will Genia and utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper.

"Guys who have had a full season, it's unlikely they will be playing in June and that's a good opportunity for us to get some new players in because we're very keen to grow the base of players that can really contribute to the team," Cheika said.

"The only way to do that is to give them opportunities and then after they (the overseas-based players) have had a bit of a break at the end of their season, we'll look at selection for the Rugby Championship."

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