Matt Giteau back in Wallaby frame for Rugby Championship

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Matthew Giteau

Matthew Giteau (Photo: Clément Bucco-Lechat)

Veteran playmaker Matt Giteau and four uncapped players have been named in a 36-man Australia squad for the Rugby Championship against New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina.

Giteau's status had been in doubt because of his commitments to French club Toulon, but the 102-test veteran was named Friday in the squad along with three other overseas-based backs in Will Genia, Drew Mitchell and Adam Ashley-Cooper, plus flyhalf Quade Cooper, who recently returned from Toulon.

"All of our eligible European-based players expressed a desire to play for the Wallabies during the Rugby Championship, and that experience is invaluable," Australia coach Michael Cheika said.

The uncapped players are props Tom Robertson and Allan Alaalatoa, back Reece Hodge and back rower Lopeti Timani.

The Wallabies, coming off three consecutive test losses to England in Australia, open the Rugby Championship on Aug. 20 in Sydney against New Zealand. South Africa hosts Argentina on the same day in Nelspruit.

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Australia squad: Allan Alaalatoa, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Adam Coleman, Quade Cooper, Kane Douglas, Scott Fardy, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Nick Frisby, Will Genia, Matt Giteau, James Hanson, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Michael Hooper, Rob Horne, Sekope Kepu, Samu Kerevi, Tevita Kuridrani, Ben McCalman, Sean McMahon, Drew Mitchell, Luke Morahan, Stephen Moore (captain), Dean Mumm, Nick Phipps, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Will Skelton, James Slipper, Toby Smith, Lopeti Timani, Matt Toomua.

-AP

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