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Thread: Gomarsall anoints Giteau No.9

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    Champion Contributor Jehna's Avatar
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    Gomarsall anoints Giteau No.9

    Gomarsall anoints Giteau No.9

    By Bret Harris
    October 30, 2007

    ENGLAND's Rugby World Cup halfback Andy Gomarsall has nominated brilliant inside back Matt Giteau as George Gregan's replacement in Australia's No.9 jumper.

    Gomarsall, in Sydney on a promotional visit for his English club Harlequins, said that Giteau would be an "awesome" choice at the Wallabies' scrumbase.

    Departed Wallabies coach John Connolly experimented with Giteau at halfback in the lead-up to the Rugby World Cup in France, but went back to veteran Gregan.

    One of the biggest questions facing the new Wallabies coach will be who to play at halfback following Gregan's retirement from international rugby.

    Giteau was a halfback until he reached the Australian under-21 level, and he has since established himself as an inside centre and occasional five-eighth. The list of potential Wallabies halfback contenders includes Sam Cordingley, Josh Holmes, Brett Sheehan, Josh Valentine, Luke Burgess and Matt Henjak.

    "On my flight over here, in Abu Dhabi, I bumped into an old friend and an ex-colleague of mine, (former Wallabies coach) Bob Dwyer, and we had a chat about that," Gomarsall said.

    "His thoughts were to go with Matt Giteau and I pretty much concur with that. He is a fantastic talent.

    "It's just the fact that he is so good at inside centre and flyhalf (five-eighth) as well. The problem is, who do you put in that position that can have such an effect that he does there?

    'Almost scrum half (halfback) might be a wasted opportunity for him. Time will tell on that.

    "I know I wish I was as bloody talented as him that I could play as an inside centre, 10 and number nine.

    "Whether he will be as effective as a nine as he is as a 10 or a 12, time will tell.

    "I just know he is a massive threat in that area.

    "Bob pointed out to me that when (the Wallabies) substituted Gregan in a Tri-Nations game, possibly against the All Blacks, Australia started to play some awesome rugby and they actually won the game when he came on. If that 40 minutes means he is the future, then so be it.

    "I don't know if there is any young talent coming through. George has dominated that position for so long and rightly so, an awesome competitor and an awesome scrum half. It's up for grabs now, isn't it?

    "It's up to some of the young guys to come through now. I believe there's a couple out there. It's going to be very tough boots to fill. I wouldn't like to be that person. Good luck to whoever it is, but I think Matt Giteau would be an awesome choice."

    Gomarsall revealed that England had targeted Gregan, whom he rated as the greatest halfback in world rugby, in their upset 12-10 win over the Wallabies in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final in Marseille.

    "It was all down to the breakdown, really," he said.

    "When you've got such a class team as Australia, and great players within it, for us getting to George Gregan was the main thing about stopping Australia playing.

    "His record speaks for itself. To get to him kind of stops Australia and that meant the breakdown had to become a contest. We watched a lot of pool games Australia had played in and the opposing team did not attack the breakdown and when they did they were successful.

    "So attacking that breakdown and making it a massive contest enabled us to get to the important people in their team."

    Gomarsall said England could not allow the Wallabies to get into an attacking rhythm by playing their multi-phase game.

    "The fear of playing Australia was that they would get phases together and build momentum against you," he said.

    "They proved that in our game. When they had the phases they played from whatever source, whether it was off a kick or off a lineout, when they got that momentum and the phases together they scored.

    "Lote Tuqiri scored.

    "So it was important we stopped them at source. The forwards really took massive credit for that.

    "We eradicated their scrum and the lineout, Australia won a fair amount of ball, but we had done our homework on what they were looking to achieve.

    "We stopped that at the source and then countered with our attack from that. It was a massive defensive effort, really. In the last minute it could have gone either way with the mistral (wind) helping us, putting Stirling Mortlock's kick to the left of the posts.

    "It was a massive test for us and, thankfully, it was meant to be."

    The Australian

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    "Remember lads, rugby is a team game; all 14 of you make sure you pass the ball to Giteau."

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    Immortal Contributor jono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jehna View Post
    Gomarsall anoints Giteau No.9

    "I don't know if there is any young talent coming through.


    give me a year or so mate

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    Veteran Contributor JediKnight's Avatar
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    Gomersall must've flown Qantas on the way over!!!!!!

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    CHEERLEADERS ROCK!!!


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    Veteran Contributor frontrow's Avatar
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    Obviously he hasn't been watching the re emergence of henners, watch out fellas...

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    Proudly bought to you by a brewery somewhere....

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    Champion Skiza's Avatar
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    Yea well now that we have Gomarsall's approval everything is sweet as, isn't it?
    Im sure the ARU and the next Wallabies Coach are glad the decision has been made for them

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jehna View Post
    "Bob pointed out to me that when (the Wallabies) substituted Gregan in a Tri-Nations game, possibly against the All Blacks, Australia started to play some awesome rugby and they actually won the game when he came on. If that 40 minutes means he is the future, then so be it.
    And there was a game against an understrength Wales side in Sydney where he didn't do very much until George came on and pushed him out to centre, where he scored within two minutes and set up one or two. There's a reason why John Connolly, probably Gregan's biggest critic didn't stick with Gits at 9, He's just a far better 12 (and a pretty bloody good 10)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jehna View Post
    I don't know if there is any young talent coming through.
    Does Henners qualify as young talent. He is now, the best halfback in Australia bar none, and that will become obvious. Let's not be fooled here, there's a bloody good reason why John Mitchell resisted Knuckles' pressure to play Gits at 9.....he has a great 9 already (international class 9 actually) and Gits is more potent with a little bit more running room.

    Gomarsall, I've always thought you're a prat, I just didn't think you'd confirm my feelings in person!

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    C'mon the

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