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Australia leave co-captain out of World Cup squad

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Coach Eddie Jones has excluded flanker Michael Hooper and fly-half Quade Cooper from Australia’s World Cup squad. The omission of Hooper, who has led the Wallabies for a significant period, and the experienced 80-cap fly-half Cooper are notable headlines in the 33-man team.

The squad will be captained by lock Will Skelton, while scrum-half Tate McDermott will serve as vice-captain. The World Cup pool stage will see Australia competing against Wales, Fiji, Georgia, and Portugal.

Despite his co-captaincy role in the recent Rugby Championship, Hooper’s calf injury limited his participation, and Cooper’s return to the squad after an Achilles injury didn’t secure him a starting position.

Australia leave co-captain out of World Cup squad

Notably, the role of captaincy has been taken on by Skelton, a player based in France, in conjunction with McDermott. This decision comes as a surprise, especially considering that McDermott led the team for the first time against New Zealand.

Carter Gordon, who recently made his Test debut, is now the sole specialist fly-half in the squad, with Ben Donaldson providing utility cover.

A significant aspect is the inclusion of uncapped teenager Max Jorgensen as an outside back, despite his limited Super Rugby experience due to a knee injury.

Australia, currently ranked eighth globally, is yet to secure a Test victory under the leadership of Jones, who took over from Dave Rennie in January. The 33-man squad, with an average age of 26 and around 20 Test caps per player, reflects a youthful and determined approach.

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