England select Guy from Sydney Uni for Australian tour

Sydney University centre Guy Porter is on the cusp of an England debut after being named in Eddie Jones’ squad to tour Australia next month.

Porter was a fringe Brumbies player when the COVID-19 pandemic hit two years ago, but took a chance in the English Premiership to kick-start his career abroad.

That move paid off handsomely on Monday when Jones named the Scots College product, who graduated alongside Angus Crichton and Jack Maddocks, in his 36-player squad.

Injuries to Test veterans Manu Tuilagi and Henry Slade worked in Porter’s favour but the 25-year-old earned the call-up after a standout season for Premiership winners Leicester, who beat Saracens in the final last week. Eastwood hooker Nic Dolly was unavailable after picking up a knee injury in the Premiership.

Porter joined established Test stars Owen Farrell and incumbent five-eighth Marcus Smith in the squad alongside a further seven uncapped players, with Jones confirming nine players were unavailable through injury.

The news came as Wallabies coach Dave Rennie urged Australian officials not to abandon Super Rugby Pacific, saying it was important for the development of his players that they continue to face New Zealand sides.

RA chairman Hamish McLennan by telling Kiwi counterpart Stewart Mitchell that Australia would consider going it alone in Super Rugby from 2024 onwards.

McLennan said in a later interview that RA would fulfil its 2023 Super Rugby Pacific commitments but hinted an all-Australian competition could be launched after that.

Rennie is adamant the model that will benefit the Wallabies the most is the current one, in which Australian sides battle the might of New Zealand’s best.

I think it’s good for both countries that we play Trans-Tasman footy, Rennie said. I think the competition has been excellent this year, and our sides have been more competitive. I think it’s good for them, it’s good for us. I’d like to see that continue.

They’ve got some of the best players In the world. You want to be playing the best players. That’s how we will get better and be challenged, so it’s important.

Some observers believe McLennan’s threats have been made merely in a bid to secure a larger slice of broadcasting revenue. New Zealand Rugby is believed to collect more than $90 million from the current broadcast deal, roughly three times the amount received by RA.

I understand Hamish is an innovative thinker. From a commercial point of view, (Rugby Australia) want a bigger slice of the pie. So I understand his thinking, Rennie said.

But I think what a lot of New Zealand clubs will think, too, is that us playing Trans-Tasman games are good for us. We’ve just got to make sure financially it’s beneficial as well.

The Wallabies are currently in camp on the Sunshine Coast to prepare for the three-Test series against England which kicks off in Perth on July 2.

England coach Eddie Jones is under a mountain of pressure following a run of poor results, which included Sunday’s 52-21 loss to the Barbarians.

Although England were missing their star players from Leicester and Saracens, the result has triggered major alarm ahead of the tour of Australia. Rennie isn’t reading anything into the result.

I’ve seen the score. But the squad they bring over will be no resemblance to that group, Rennie said. They had a lot of their key players playing on the weekend (in the English Premiership final). Once they name their squad I’ll take a bit more interest.

Wallabies prop Taniela Tupou is no certainty to play in the series opener as he recovers from a calf injury.

Watch every match of the July Test Series on the Home of Rugby, Stan Sport. Kicks off Saturday 2 July with , , and . All streaming ad-free, live and on demand only on .

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