Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says he will name a train-on squad on Sunday containing those players not involved in the Super Rugby finals, but overseas-based hopefuls will not be part of the group.
Cheika has spoken to European-based stars Matt Giteau, George Smith and Drew Mitchell and they have all indicated they are available from the outset when the Wallabies begin the countdown to the World Cup in the Rugby Championship, starting on July 18 against South Africa in Brisbane.
“They’ll be considered for selection for the first game. They’ve just finished seasons over there – they don’t need to come back now. If they were to come back … if they were selected, they’d be coming back after the Super Rugby final when the full team comes together,” Cheika said.
“We’re just going to name the guys who are in the train-on for the teams that are out of Super Rugby.
“The guys will continue training from the teams that are out of Super Rugby which is part of that 45 that we’ve had in our minds.
“It’s just who we are going to focus on for this set of games.”
Several expected members of the initial train-on squad are nursing injuries with Queensland’s Will Genia (shoulder), James O’Connor (groin) and James Slipper (shoulder) all worse for wear with all three unable to finish the Reds’ loss to the NSW Waratahs on Saturday night.
Reds coach Richard Graham said he expected Genia and Slipper to be fine but wasn’t sure of the extent of O’Connor’s injury.