Kerevi back for Wallabies, 3 uncapped players also in squad

Australia's Reece Hodge, left, and Argentina's Gonzalo Bertranou scuffle for the ball during their Rugby Championship match in Salta, Argentina, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Gonzalo Prados)

Center Samu Kerevi has been recalled from injury and three uncapped players have been included in Australia's 31-man squad for the third Bledisloe Cup test against New Zealand in Japan on Oct. 27

SYDNEY — Center Samu Kerevi has been recalled and three uncapped players have been included in Australia's 31-man squad for the third Bledisloe Cup test against New Zealand in Japan on Oct. 27.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika announced the squad on Thursday, giving Waratahs forward Jed Holloway, scrumhalf Jake Gordon and Melbourne Rebels blindside flanker Angus Cottrell a chance to push for test selection.

Kerevi, who missed the Rugby Championship with a biceps injury, hasn't played since the third test against Ireland in June.

Reece Hodge, who started in the centers for the Wallabies in all six tests in Kerevi's absence, was retained in the squad for the test in Yokohama, Japan.

Backrower Jack Dempsey has returned to the squad for the first time since injuring his hamstring in the Wallabies-Barbarians match in Sydney almost a year ago.

Sekope Kepu is in line to become the ninth player to play 100 tests for Australia, and the first by a prop forward.

The squad for the northern hemisphere spring tour of Wales, Italy and England is yet to be finalized. Australia plays Wales on Nov. 11, Italy on Nov. 18 and England on Nov. 25.

New Zealand has held the Bledisloe Cup since 2003, extending the winning streak with victories in the first two matches this year.

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Australia squad: Backs: Tom Banks, Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Jake Gordon, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Jack Maddocks, Sefa Naivalu, Nick Phipps.

Forwards: Jermaine Ainsley, Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Angus Cottrell, Jack Dempsey, Folau Fainga'a, Ned Hanigan, Jed Holloway, Michael Hooper (captain), Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, David Pocock, Izack Rodda, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Taniela Tupou.

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