Sio caps off great year with Wallabies call-up
BORN in Sydney while his father Tevita was away playing front row for Manu Samoa, Scott Sio will have the chance to add another chapter to the family's illustrious rugby history after being added to the Wallaby squad for the first Test against the Lions.
Sio was one of the final six inclusions named by coach Robbie Deans yesterday - the others were Brumbies teammates Pat McCabe and Peter Kimlin, Kurtley Beale (Rebels), Hugh McMeniman (Force) and Digby Ioane (Reds).
Rebels halfback Luke Burgess and Reds hooker James Hanson will also remain with the squad this week as training cover.
Deans said Sio, an Australian Schools representative as a loose forward on its tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland in 2009, had shown great promise playing alongside Wallaby front-rowers Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander and Dan Palmer at the Brumbies this season.
"Scott has had a remarkable year," Deans said. "While he is still developing his game, his work rate around the field, impact in contact and in defence, and the raw power he brings to his set piece indicated to us that he was ready to get underway."
Deans also officially announced that Reds skipper James Horwill would lead the Wallabies during the Lions series.
The coach defended the addition of troubled Rebels star Kurtley Beale to the squad, saying the decision had been supported by those involved in his counselling program.
After being dumped by the Rebels twice this season for alcohol-related issues, Beale has been undergoing a similar off-field counselling program undertaken by NRL star Ben Barba.
Beale was chosen ahead of star Reds playmaker Quade Cooper who was repeatedly verbally abused and had a full cup of beer thrown at him during a drinking session with friends at the Normanby Hotel in Brisbane on Sunday afternoon.
- GORDON CLARK