A trio of experienced Wallabies are set to return to the fold for next month’s tour of Europe.
Stephen Moore, David Pocock and Berrick Barnes are all expected to be included when head coach Robbie Deans names his travelling party tomorrow.
Moore has missed the last five games with a hamstring injury but stands just one game short of becoming his country’s most-capped hooker.
The Brumbies veteran currently has 72 caps to his name and has been part of the Wallaby set up for seven years.
Although the form of Tatafu Polota-Nau ensures he is by no means guaranteed a starting spot at the moment, his return will be a huge plus for Deans, especially as back up front rower Saia Fainga’a will miss the tour after breaking his hand earlier this month.
Pocock skippered his country in the summer Tests against Scotland and Wales but missed almost the entirety of the Rugby Championship campaign after injuring his knee in the opening Bledisloe Cup clash with New Zealand on August 18
The influential openside appeared to rule himself out of the four-match tour when he stressed that even the ‘very best-case scenario’ of playing towards the end of the tour may not be ‘realistic’.
But Pocock now appears to have a more positive approach, with Deans seemingly keen to pick the 24-year-old even if he isn’t fit to feature in the opening Test against France or the following week’s trip to Twickenham.
As for Barnes, the versatile playmaker hasn’t played since puncturing his lung in the comprehensive defeat to South Africa on September 30.
The Waratahs star has long been a favourite of Deans and, even though the Wallabies won against Argentina in Roasrio without him, it would be a major surprise if he wasn’t named in the starting side to face the French on November 10.
Australia’s autumn fixtures
v France, Saturday November 10, Stade de France
v England, Saturday November 17, Twickenham
v Italy, Saturday November 24, Franchi Stadium, Florence
v Wales, Saturday December 1, Millennium Stadium