Blake Enever on the charge for the Vikings in the NRC.
Blake Enever on the charge for the Vikings in the NRC.

Blake Enever one of four shock European Wallabies tourists

BLAKE Enever has never been involved in a Wallabies training session.

On Tuesday night, he will fly out with the Australian squad for the trip of a lifetime; Tokyo, Cardiff, London and Edinburgh, with the potential of making his Test debut.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika told Enever of his selection two hours before the Brumby took the field for Canberra Vikings in the NRC on Sunday.

The 26-year-old is the unlikeliest Wallaby tourist of 2017, winning a spot after Rory Arnold was ruled out with a knee injury, following Izack Rodda's shoulder surgery.

The locking shortage worsened when Lukhan Tui sustained a hamstring injury but Cheika believes he will recover for the crucial third Test of the tour against England, and so named the Queenslander.

But Enever and Western Force lineout specialist Matt Philip have been given tickets for their debut tours as potential backups to Adam Coleman and Rob Simmons for the opening two matches at least.

"If you look back 18 months when we brought Coleman into the squad, people were thinking the same thing, I remember that first series when he came in, he probably had a few more runs on the board than Blake but he was still pretty new," Cheika said.

Veteran lock Kane Douglas was over looked for the spring tour.
Veteran lock Kane Douglas was over looked for the spring tour.

"I'm not going to lie, we've had a couple of injuries obviously that has led us down this path, Izack Rodda is missing and also Rory Arnold, Lukhan probably won't be available for the first game or two of the tour, but he'll be available for three and four so it's worth taking him.

"There was Kane Douglas and Sam Carter, I would like to give the opportunity to two new younger guys, who have had good Super Rugby seasons.

"Matt Philip I think has improved out of sight from game one to the final game, I just think it's a good opportunity to give these younger guys a run."

Flanker Jack Dempsey tore two tendons in his hamstring in Australia's 31-28 win over the Barbarians last Saturday and will be sidelined for four months, which means he won't play until Super Rugby starts next year for NSW.

Ned Hanigan is likely to reprise his role at blindside flanker.

Cheika said he will field his strongest possible team for all four Tests including Saturday's tour opener against Japan.

Cheika has named youngsters Jack Maddocks and Liam Wright as development players, but will blood them should an injury crisis occur.



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