Wallabies' new coach drops Robinson

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 August, 2013, 5:24am


Experienced prop Benn Robinson was overlooked as new coach Ewen McKenzie named eight uncapped players in his inaugural 30-man Wallabies squad yesterday for this month's Rugby Championship.

Robinson, who played in the recent losing series against the British & Irish Lions and is a veteran of 59 tests, was the major omission after being a mainstay of the Wallabies' tight five.

He’s very disappointed. I was actually pleased about that. If he wasn't disappointed, I'd be disappointed

"He's very disappointed. I was actually pleased about that. If he wasn't disappointed, I'd be disappointed," McKenzie said of Robinson, one of Australia's most-capped front-rowers.

"Obviously for a player of his experience, it's a bit of a blow. But everyone needs to understand you've got to be delivering. He knows what he needs to do. We'll keep him close and he's got every chance of pushing his way back in."

Rising ACT Brumbies prop Scott Sio, 21, is now in line for his first test cap in Robinson's absence. Sio is one of eight uncapped names in the final squad.

"Sometimes you've got to be proactive and get on with it if you think you've got a guy that's got some real ability," McKenzie said.

McKenzie retained newcomers Matt Toomua and Bernard Foley from his preliminary squad as play-making options, along with Quade Cooper for the fly-half spot, for the opening test against New Zealand in Sydney on August 17.

"They're all there so you're going to have to keep speculating about it... we don't need to make a decision publicly about the play-making role until one hour before the game," McKenzie said, keen to keep the All Blacks guessing.

The other uncapped players were backrowers Scott Fardy and Jake Schatz, hooker Albert Anae, centre Tevita Kuridrani and scrumhalf Nic White.