Students provide six for World Cup squad

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Sydney University Football Club will be represented by six players at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, to be held in England in September and October.

When Wallabies coach Michael Cheika announced the 31-man squad this morning, it included Sydney University second-rowers Dean Mum and Will Skelton, backrower Ben McCalman, halfback Nick Phipps, five-eighth Bernard Foley and fullback Israel Folau.

Comprising 17 forwards and 14 backs, and with over 1200 Test caps between them, the Wallabies squad will be captained by Stephen Moore in his third consecutive Rugby World Cup.

The coach also announced an extra 10 players, including Sydney University’s David Dennis and Sam Carter, to play against the SU Eagles in a Test at Soldier Field, Chicago, on September 5, prior to the World Cup.

Cheika said it was the collective effort of his broader Wallabies playing group which has laid the platform for his chosen squad to lead Australia against the rest of the world.

“I would like to thank all of the players who have contributed to the Wallabies’ Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup campaigns this season,” Cheika said.

“We’ve become a really tight group and it was a very difficult process in picking only 31 players, but I know each player selected will travel to England with the full support of those team-mates who won’t board the flight

“Our primary focus throughout the Super Rugby competition, The Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup was to select a balanced squad between youth, experience and form and this squad certainly delivers on this.

“It’s also important that we select a squad that will handle the tournament play and our draw in particular at the Rugby World Cup, as well as maintain a strong competition for places in the team.”

The Wallabies will commence their preparations with a series of camps in Sydney, Indiana and Bath before playing their opening match of Pool A against Fiji at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff on September 23, followed by Uruguay at Villa Park, Birmingham on September 27.

The Wallabies will then take on England at Twickenham on October 3, and Wales at the same venue on October 10.

The two highest-ranked teams at the end of the pool stage will advance to the quarter-finals.