Tue, Nov 07, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Media hail Giteau's positional switch

AFP , SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

Australia's Wallabies may be reflecting on lost opportunities in this weekend's 29-all draw with Wales, but may have unearthed a new Test scrum-half to replace record-breaking skipper George Gregan, media reports said yesterday.

The traveling Australian rugby press saw encouraging signs in the Wallabies' performance in Cardiff, which may yet have a significant effect on their tilt at next year's World Cup in France.

The Daily Telegraph went as far as to say Gregan's reign as Test scrum-half was over after Matt Giteau impressed in his new role in the thriller with Wales in Cardiff.

Australian selector Michael O'Connor lauded Giteau as "class personified" in his newfound role since being switched from inside-center.

"If he wants to continue in that position I believe he can be one of the truly great halfbacks [scrum-halves] of world rugby," the former dual international told the newspaper. "I was very excited by Giteau's performance. He just looked class personified."

Gregan, the world's most-capped player who has been on the international scene since 1994, opted out of the seven-game trip to Europe to prepare for a run at a fourth World Cup next September.

"If that means farewelling the long-time Wallabies halfback George Gregan, so be it," the Sydney Morning Herald said.

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