One of Australian rugby’s most promising young players has been surprisingly left out of the Wallabies squad to tour Japan and Europe.
Noah Lolesio had been groomed as the long-term Wallabies No.10 but his future right now is a little less certain.
The Brumbies playmaker is set to be excluded from Dave Rennie’s squad for the four Test tour of Japan, England, Scotland and Wales, starting later this month.
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Nerveless Noah does it again
After leading Australia to a series victory over France in July, Lolesio lost his place in the Wallabies lineup on the back of three tough outings in the Bledisloe Cup clean sweep at the hands of the All Blacks.
Rennie and the selectors then opted for Quade Cooper against South Africa on the Gold Coast, citing form as the reason for Lolesio’s axing.
Cooper has since been a revelation in his return to the national team, helping the Wallabies claim four straight victories for the first time since 2017.
All the while, it has been expressed that the best thing for 21-year-old Lolesio is to learn from veterans Cooper and James O’Connor.
But it appears he won’t get the chance to continue that tutelage on the team’s trip to the northern hemisphere.
Lolesio won’t be alone in being a high profile player to be left at home for the tour.
Harry Wilson will also reportedly miss selection, and Wide World of Sports understands his Queensland Reds teammates, Fraser McReight and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, will also remain in Australia.
Salakaia-Loto has been in Sydney the last few weeks, after leaving Wallabies camp to join his partner for the birth of their first child.
He was thought to be linking back up with the squad for the northern tour, but that doesn’t appear to be happening.
For McReight, it’s been a tough year, waiting in the wings behind captain and fellow openside flanker, Michael Hooper.
WWOS understands Rennie and the Wallabies coaches are extremely happy with McReight’s training, fitness and application, but being a ‘like for like’ replacement for Hooper, who is in arguably the best form of his career, has made it difficult for the young Queenslander to crack the match day 23 this year.
The full squad is expected to be named by the end of this week, with French-based players Rory Arnold, Tolu Latu and Will Skelton expected to be drafted in.