Eddie Jones’ bizarre Wallabies squad for the World Cup has everyone talking

Classic Eddie.

Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones has everyone scratching their heads today with his bizarre 33-man Australia squad for the Rugby World Cup in France, with both Michael Hooper and Quade Cooper omitted from the touring party.

Hooper is Australia’s most-capped captain of all time and has been a key figure for the Wallabies for over a decade. France 2023 looked set to be the 31-year-old’s swan song, but Jones has opted to leave him at home in a stunning decision.

Hooper has played 125 times for Australia since 2012 and was named co-captain of the Wallabies with James Slipper for the Rugby Championship earlier this year, but only played in the opening loss to South Africa before being sidelined by a calf injury.

In another surprising move, giant lock Will Skelton has been named as Wallabies captain.

“It’s a really difficult decision,” Jones said of Hooper’s omission

“We’ve gone down the line of we think young players are the players that can take Australian Rugby forward.”

“He could be fit for the French (warm-up) game, we don’t know. I’ve made the decision this is the best 33 for the World Cup.”

Cooper only recently returned from a serious achilles injury, and Jones feels he simply isn’t “sharp” enough. This leaves just one specialist outhalf in the squad in Carter Gordon.

“We’ve got for a younger guy in (Ben) Donaldson, we just feel this is our best option going forward,” Jones told Stan Sport.

“Quade’s come back from a serious Achilles tendon injury probably not as sharp as he’d like to be.”

33-man Wallabies Rugby World Cup squad

Forwards: Angus Bell, Pone Fa’amausili, Zane Nonggorr, Blake Schoupp, James Slipper, Taniela Tupou, Matt Faessler, David Porecki, Jordan Uelese, Richie Arnold, Nick Frost, Matt Philip, Will Skelton (c), Langi Gleeson, Tom Hooper, Rob Leota, Fraser McReight, Rob Valetini, Josh Kemeny

Backs: Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, Tate McDermott (vc), Nic White, Carter Gordon, Lalakai Foketi, Samu Kerevi, Izaia Perese, Jordan Petaia, Max Jorgensen, Andrew Kellaway, Marika Koroibete, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Suliasi Vunivalu, Ben Donaldson

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