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Wallabies pick NSW cult hero in first 2023 squad

The Wallabies have picked Waratahs cult hero Charlie Gamble in a 44-man squad to start preparations for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

Gamble is a flanker from New Zealand who was part of Crusaders training squads before making the move to Australia and becomes eligible for the Wallabies in April.

Brumbies scrumhalf Ryan Lonergan is the only other uncapped player in the squad which will assemble on the Gold Coast on Monday for a four-day camp.

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The Wallabies said the camp would “include a combination of on and off field elements that will prepare the team for the 2023 international season.”

Injured stars Quade Cooper and Samu Kerevi have been included as the only overseas-based players in the squad.

The squad features 13 Brumbies, 13 Waratahs, seven Reds, six Rebels and three Force players.

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“What’s exciting for us is that over the past three years we’ve created genuine depth and competition of places,” Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said.

“Of the 44 players all bar two have worn the gold jersey over the past three years and there’s also several fringe players who still have an opportunity to force their way into the next camp through strong Super Rugby form.

“We’ll use the four days to make sure all players head back to their franchises with a clear understanding on what will give them the best chance of representing their country in a World Cup year.”

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Wallabies January camp squad (age, club, Tests played)

Props: Allan Alaalatoa (28, ACT Brumbies, 64 Tests), Angus Bell (22, NSW Waratahs, 20 Tests), Matt Gibbon (27, Melbourne Rebels, 5 Tests), Tom Robertson (28, Western Force, 31 Tests), James Slipper (33, ACT Brumbies, 127 Tests), Sam Talakai (31, Melbourne Rebels, 1 Test), Taniela Tupou (26, Queensland Reds, 47 Tests)

Hookers: Folau Fainga’a (27, Western Force, 38 Tests), Lachlan Lonergan (23, ACT Brumbies, 8 Tests), David Porecki (30, NSW Waratahs, 10 Tests)

Locks: Nick Frost (23, ACT Brumbies, 9 Tests), Cadeyrn Neville (34, ACT Brumbies, 8 Tests), Matt Philip (28, Melbourne Rebels, 27 Tests), Izack Rodda (26, Western Force, 34 Tests), Darcy Swain (25, ACT Brumbies, 17 Tests)

Loose forwards: Charlie Gamble (26, NSW Waratahs, uncapped), Langi Gleeson (21, NSW Waratahs, 3 Tests), Ned Hanigan (27, NSW Waratahs, 28 Tests), Jed Holloway (30, NSW Waratahs, 10 Tests), Michael Hooper ( 31, NSW Waratahs, 124 Tests), Rob Leota (25, Melbourne Rebels, 13 Tests), Fraser McReight (23, Queensland Reds, 10 Tests), Pete Samu (31, ACT Brumbies, 32 Tests), Rob Valetini (24, ACT Brumbies, 30 Tests), Harry Wilson (23, Queensland Reds, 12 Tests)

Scrumhalves: Jake Gordon (29, NSW Waratahs, 20 Tests), Ryan Lonergan (24, ACT Brumbies, uncapped), Tate McDermott (24, Queensland Reds, 21 Tests), Nic White (32, ACT Brumbies, 59 Tests)

Flyhalves: Quade Cooper (34, Kintetsu Liners, 76 Tests), Ben Donaldson (23, NSW Waratahs, 2 Tests), Noah Lolesio (23, ACT Brumbies, 17 Tests)

Centers: Lalakai Foketi (28, NSW Waratahs, 5 Tests), Len Ikitau (24, ACT Brumbies, 26 Tests), Hunter Paisami (24, Queensland Reds, 24 Tests), Izaia Perese (25, NSW Waratahs, 3 Tests), Samu Kerevi (29, Suntory Sungoliath, 41 Tests)

Outside backs: Kurtley Beale (33, NSW Waratahs, 95 Tests), Jock Campbell (27, Queensland Reds, 4 Tests), Reece Hodge (28, Melbourne Rebels, 62 Tests), Andrew Kellaway (27, Melbourne Rebels, 21 Tests), Mark Nawaqanitawase (22, NSW Waratahs, 3 Tests), Jordan Petaia (22, Queensland Reds, 25 Tests), Tom Wright (25, ACT Brumbies, 23 Tests)

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