Australia captain James Horwill has been included in Ewen McKenzie’s 28-man squad for the Wallabies’ final two matches of the Rugby Championship in South Africa and Argentina.
Horwill missed the home games against the Springboks and the Pumas after damaging his hamstring but has been passed fit to face South Africa in Cape Town on September 28 and Argentina in Rosario a week later.
Loosehead prop Benn Robinson also returns to the squad, with Australia coach McKenzie naming three uncapped players for the games – hooker Albert Anae, winger Chris Feauai-Sautia and fly-half Bernard Foley.
Sitaleki Timani and Dave Dennis have also been added to the final 23-man squad that took on Argentina last Saturday night.
Nick Cummins misses out due to a broken hand, while Jesse Mogg will undergo a shoulder reconstruction in a bid to avoid a persistent injury. Flanker Liam Gill and prop Scott Sio are both left out but will remain on standby.
McKenzie targeted the scrum as an area which needs improvement.
“The scrums have been inconsistent across all the Tests so far and we are now about to embark on a tough two-game road tour,” he told sportal.com.au.
“We want to improve this area of our game and when you combine the Tests played between Ben and James we are bringing in another 99 games of experience up front.
“That’s invaluable when you are playing in hostile environments away from home.”
With just one win from his first four Tests as coach, McKenzie stressed the final two matches in South Africa and Argentina were vital to build confidence and a winning mentality in the group.
“I don’t think anyone is going to back us to win these next two games but there is a terrific opportunity to continue to improve and surprise a few people,” he said.
“There is a good vibe in the group at the moment with some emerging confidence and experience.
“We’ll go over there with a strong mindset, the right attitude and with a really good chance to finish positively in the competition.”