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Sydney University Football Club has seven representatives in the 32-man Australian squad for the three-Test series against France in Australia in June.

Hooker Nathan Charles, second-rowers Sam Carter and Will Skelton, backrower Ben McCalman, halfback Nick Phipps, five-eighth Bernard Foley and fullback Israel Folau have been named in the squad, announced today by Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie.

Charles, Carter and Skelton are uncapped, while Foley has four Tests under his belt, Phipps has 14, Folau has 15 and McCalman has 29 at number eight and blindside flanker.

Six of these players came through the SUFC Colts system (Folau is the only exception) and all are now contracted to Australian Super XV franchises. Foley, Skelton, Phipps and Folau are with NSW Waratahs, McCalman and Charles are with Western Force and Carter is with ACT Brumbies.

A notable omission from the squad is Sydney University flanker Dave Dennis, the Waratahs captain for 2014, while leg injuries ruled out halfback Luke Burgess, and winger Peter Betham, two other Sydney University representatives.

The Trophée des Bicentenaires series will feature Tests at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane on Saturday, June 7, Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, on Saturday, June 14, and Allianz Stadium, Sydney, on Saturday, June 21.

The Australian squad will assemble at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast on Sunday, June 1 to prepare for the first Test.

While McKenzie has named five uncapped players in the squad, it still boasts 831 games of Test experience, has an average age of just under 26-years-old, and includes representatives from all five Australian Super Rugby.

“It’s pleasing to see the quality and depth we have coming through the Australian Rugby ranks at the moment and I’m confident the squad we’ve chosen can deliver the outcomes we are looking for throughout the June series,” McKenzie said. “We’re beginning to create a strong and competitive selection environment, which unfortunately means that some quality players will miss out.

“The challenge for this group now is to build on our four most recent wins on the Spring Tour and ensure we continue to develop a winning culture. The last time an Australian team won five straight games was in 2008. That’s a six-year hoodoo we need to break and it will be our immediate short-term team goal.”

McKenzie has also invited an additional four players to train with the squad in the lead-up to their opening Test – wingers Henry Speight and Tom English (Sydney University), prop Paddy Ryan (Sydney University) and lock Cadeyrn Neville.

“The reality is we have more players performing well than we have space in our squad, so it’s important for the coaching staff that we have an opportunity to learn more about some of the players who haven’t had as much recent exposure to the national program,” the coach said. “By adding four additional players to the group for the opening week we’ll get to learn more about some guys, while they get to experience a different environment and test themselves at the elite level.”

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