Ashley-Cooper to play in 4th Rugby World Cup for Australia

SYDNEY (AP) — Utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper is expected to play in his fourth Rugby World Cup after being named in Australia coach Michael Cheika's 31-man squad Friday for the tournament in Japan beginning next month.

Ashley-Cooper will be the second Wallaby after George Gregan to play in four showpiece tournaments, with Ashley-Cooper having played in 17 Rugby World Cup matches. That's five games behind all-time leaders Jason Leonard of England and New Zealand's Richie McCaw.

The squad, captained by Michael Hooper with Samu Kerevi as his deputy, includes 1,406 caps of test experience, 200 more than the squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in which Australia lost in the final to New Zealand.

Japan will be Hooper's second appearance at the World Cup while 18 players are set for their World Cup debut.

Australia plays its first match on Sept. 21 against Fiji at Sapporo.


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