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Wallabies name extended 30-man squad for 2 tests, Polota-Nau included but won't play 1st test

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SYDNEY - Australia has announced a 30-man squad for its next two Rugby Championship matches, including the return of New South Wales Waratahs hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau.

Coach Ewen McKenzie said Wednesday that Polota-Nau will not be considered for selection in Australia's match against South Africa in Perth on Sept. 6.

Polota-Nau is continuing his rehabilitation from the right knee injury he sustained during the Waratahs' Super Rugby championship final win over the Crusaders on Aug. 2.

Australia will be without hooker Nathan Charles and winger Pat McCabe. Charles has a chest injury while McCabe has reportedly been forced to retire after suffering the third neck fracture of his career in Australia's 51-20 loss to New Zealand in Auckland last weekend.

The Australian Rugby Union is expected to clarify McCabe's career status on Thursday. ACT coach Stephen Larkham said Wednesday that McCabe had decided to retire, but the ARU and the Brumbies said those reports were premature.

McKenzie also named Western Force centre Kyle Godwin to an Australian squad for the first time.

The Wallabies also play Argentina on Sept. 13 on the Gold Coast in Queensland state. Australia is level on points with Argentina in the Rugby Championship but is in last place because of an inferior points differential.

New Zealand's win in Auckland enabled the All Blacks to extend their hold on the Bledisloe Cup to 13 consecutive years.

"We don't hide from the fact that our performance against New Zealand was well below our own expectations, which was especially disappointing considering the momentum we had created since last year's spring tour," McKenzie said. "We'll address that and then get on with preparing for what will be a very tough battle against South Africa next Saturday night."

The Wallabies go into camp on Sunday in Perth.

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Australia squad: Backs — Israel Folau, Peter Betham, Rob Horne, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Toomua, Kyle Godwin, Christian Leali'ifano, Kurtley Beale, Bernard Foley, Nic White, Nick Phipps, Luke Burgess; Forwards - Wycliff Palu, Ben McCalman, Michael Hooper (captain), Matt Hodgson, Scott Higginbotham, Scott Fardy, Rob Simmons, James Horwill, Sam Carter, Will Skelton, Sekope Kepu, Ben Alexander, James Slipper, Pek Cowan, James Hanson, Saia Fainga'a, Tatafu Polota-Nau.

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