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59 man squad for Ozzies

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    59 man squad for Ozzies

    <H2 =clear>Nine Reds, but no Croft </H2>
    <H3>Showing his hand: John Connolly</H3>
    <DIV id=advert_1></DIV>
    @@@@SPAN id=intelliTXT>The Reds, despite suffering a humiliating and record 92-3 defeat at the hands of the Bulls, still managed to get nine members of their squad into an extended Wallaby training squad. But there's no place for hard-working flank David Croft.

    Wallaby Coach John Connolly and fellow selectors Scott Johnson and Michael O'Connor on Monday announced a 59-man "train on" squad for the 2007 Wallaby and Australia 'A' campaigns.

    Players in the train on squad will continue training in their home states until a reduced squad of 40 players is selected to attend a three-day training camp in Sydney from May 15 to 17.

    A final Wallabies squad of 30 for the two Tests against Wales, one-off Test against Fiji and Tr-Nations series will be announced on May 20.

    However, the squad is noted more for the absenteeisms than for those included. With 59 names Connolly and co certainly cast the net wide.

    However, the likes of Croft, along with Western Force duo Tai McIsaac and Matt Henjak were the most notable omissions.

    Croft, despite being one of the few players to emerge from the Reds' disastrous Super 14 campaign with his reputation intact failed to make the squad.

    McIsaac, who played eight Tests at hooker last year, also did not receive a call - with two Waratahs (Adam Freier and Tatafu Polota-Nau), the Brumbies' Jeremy Paul and Stephen Moore (Reds) all in the squad.

    Henjak, who has four Test caps to his credit, but has been in a desperate downward form spiral this year, is way back in the Wallaby queue. George Gregan (Brumbies), Sam Cordingley (Reds) and the Waratahs trio of Josh Valentine, Brett Sheehan and Josh Holmes are all ahead of him.

    The Waratahs, second from last after a shocking Super 14 season, have the biggest representation in the squad, with 19 players. Next best are the Brumbies with 17, the Force (14) and Reds (nine).

    Among the uncapped players included were promising teenage inside backs Kurtley Beale and Quade Cooper and rugby league convert centre Ryan Cross.

    Wallaby squad:

    BRUMBIES: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Alister Campbell, Mark Chisholm, Mark Gerrard, George Gregan, Nic Henderson, Stephen Hoiles, Julian Huxley, Stephen Larkham, Stirling Mortlock, Jeremy Paul, Clyde Rathbone, Julian Salvi, Guy Shepherdson, George Smith, Jone Tawake, Adam Wallace-Harrison.

    FORCE: Richard Brown, Ryan Cross, Matt Giteau, Gareth Hardy, James Hilgendorf, Digby Ioane, Drew Mitchell, Junior Pelesasa, David Pocock, Nathan Sharpe, Cameron Shepherd, Scott Staniforth, Troy Takiari, Rudi Vedelago.

    REDS: Berrick Barnes, Rodney Blake, Mitchell Chapman, Quade Cooper, Sam Cordingley, James Horwill, Hugh McMeniman, Stephen Moore, John Roe.

    WARATAHS: Al Baxter, Kurtley Beale, Will Caldwell, Matt Dunning, Rocky Elsom, Adam Freier, Josh Holmes, David Lyons, Sam Norton-Knight, Wycliff Palu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson, Brett Sheehan, Lote Tuqiri, Morgan Turinui, Lachlan Turner, Josh Valentine, Dan Vickerman, Phil Waugh@@@@/SPAN>
    Shaqtastic...29 points
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