Australia name strong squad for summer series against Ireland

Australia have named the squad that will welcome Ireland for a three-test series in June.

Michael Cheika has included star players Michael Hooper, David Pocock, Bernard Foley and Israel Folau.

Cheika recently told local reporters that star man Israel Folau won't cause any media distraction like his recent anti-gay comments.

Folau was not sanctioned by Rugby Australia for his comments, which stem from his religious beliefs, despite opposition from some sponsors and fans.

Five players - Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Jack Maddocks, Tom Banks, Folau Fainga’a and Caleb Timu - could all be in line for their Wallabies debuts against Ireland.

Ireland named their squad last week with Joe Schmidt naming two uncapped players in the touring party.

Munster-bound Tadhg Beirne - who lined out for the Scarlets last weekend against Leinster in the Pro14 final - receives his first call-up while out-half Ross Byrne joins fellow Leinster 10s Johhny Sexton and Joey Carbery in the 32-man squad.

Ulster scrum-half John Cooney, who has one cap to his name, also gets a call-up with fellow Ulster man Rory Best named as captain.

Joe Schmidt called it their "most difficult selection process" yet.

The three games take place on June 9, 16 and 23 with all three kick-offs at 8.05pm local time (11.05am Irish time).

Australia squad for the summer-series:

Forwards: Sekope Kepu, Tom Robertson, Scott Sio, Taniela Tupou, Allan Alaalatoa, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Folau Faingaa, Jordan Uelese, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Izack Rodda, Rob Simmons, Michael Hooper, David Pocock, Caleb Timu, Lukhan Tui, Ned Hanigan

Backs: Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Tom Banks, Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Tevita Kuridrani, Jack Maddocks Sefa Naivalu, Nick Phipps, Joe Powell, Curtis Rona

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