Rugby World Cup: Australia omit James Horwill from squad

James Horwill
James Horwill has won 58 caps for Australia

Australia have omitted former captain James Horwill from their 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup.

Coach Michael Cheika also left out ACT Brumbies scrum-half Nic White who, along with Horwill, helped Australia win this year's Rugby Championship.

Uncapped prop Toby Smith and inexperienced flanker Sean McMahon have been included in a party that includes only two scrum-halves.

Australia are in Pool A, along with England, Wales, Fiji and Uruguay.

Cheika said of his selection: "We made the decisions that we think give us the best balance with the draw that we have."

Horwill, who has 58 caps and captained Australia at the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand and will join Harlequins after the World Cup, impressed in the four-way competition between the Wallabies, the All Blacks, South Africa and Argentina.

"He really played himself into contention," said Cheika.

"Maybe he was a bit further away at the start of the Rugby Championship, but the balance of the team that we wanted required just the two line-out orientated locks and we have that."

Australia's 31-man squad:

Forwards: Stephen Moore (captain, Brumbies), Tatafu Polota-Nau (Waratahs); Greg Holmes (Rebels), Sekope Kepu (Bordeaux Begles), Scott Sio (Brumbies), James Slipper (Rebels), Toby Smith (Rebels); Kane Douglas (Rebels), Dean Mumm (Waratahs), Rob Simmons (Rebels), Will Skelton (Waratahs); Scott Fardy (Brumbies), Michael Hooper (vice-captain, Waratahs), Ben McCalman (Western Force), Sean McMahon (Rebels), Wycliff Palu (Toyota Verblitz), David Pocock (Brumbies).

Backs: Will Genia (Stade Francais), Nick Phipps (Waratahs); Quade Cooper (Rebels), Bernard Foley (Waratahs); Kurtley Beale (Waratahs), Matt Giteau (Toulon), Tevita Kuridrani (Brumbies), Matt Toomua (Brumbies); Adam Ashley-Cooper (Bordeaux Begles), Rob Horne (Waratahs), Drew Mitchell (Toulon), Henry Speight (Brumbies), Joe Tomane (Brumbies); Israel Folau (Waratahs).

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