Tue, Aug 01, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Wallabies' minders ask Gregan to miss end of season tour

AFP , SYDNEY

Wallabies captain George Gregan has been asked to consider sitting out the end of season tour to Europe ahead of next year's World Cup, a team official said yesterday.

Team spokesman Michael Earsman said coach John Connolly had asked the veteran scrum half to think about missing the November tour.

"He had one conversation with him regarding that, to gauge his thoughts on resting," Earsman said, adding that Gregan had not yet given a response.

"It is at a very preliminary stage," he added and said Gregan had been asked to "go away and provide some feedback."

Gregan is the most capped player in rugby history and shares the record with John Eales for being Australia's longest serving captain. Both have led the Wallabies in 55 Tests.

But questions have been raised about his leadership and playing form in recent seasons and he is under pressure to run with greater penetration.

Connolly is keen to build a depth of talent in the team and keep his halfback options open.

He started Sam Cordingley in the No. 9 jersey in the second Test against England last month and has brought him on to replace Gregan in the closing minutes of several recent matches.

Earsman said he did not believe Connolly had a "strong agenda" for resting Gregan in the November tour and that he was "the No. 1 halfback and captain."

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