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Thread: George Gregan speaks......

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    George Gregan speaks......

    George Gregan speaks exclusively to the RUPA (Rugby Union Players Association)

    The Wallabies returned yesterday from their crusade to the Cape of South Africa in the first round of the Tri Nations losing narrowly to the Springboks 22-19 in a nail biter. From the Sideline caught up today with the player who has played more test rugby than anyone in the world - the mercurial George Gregan - as he attempted to dust off the effects of jet lag.

    From the Sideline: George, last weeks game saw a new found steely determination in the Wallaby forward pack. What do you put this down to?

    George: Several things really. Firstly there is the preparation, hard work and dedication from the players and coaches over the past 12 months towards developing a more physical approach to the game. Secondly attitudinally we were in the right head space all week in the lead up to the game. Also the Wallabies forwards had been accused in the South African media in the lead up to the game as lacking in certain aspects of the physical nature of the game. It was basically a typical Aussie response to such criticism.

    From the Sideline: Much has been said about Mat Dunning's efforts and the fact the scrum was competitive against the more fancied South African forward pack. How much does it help having a scrum that can compete?

    George: Mat's preparation and dedication this year has been fantastic but really it was the whole forward pack that saw us compete in the scrum, lineout's and breakdown. I don't like to single players out but certainly Mat had a strong game and contributed well to the team's overall performance. Having a strong forward back certainly enables me to work off this around the scrum and breakdown area better than if we were on the back foot.

    From the Sideline: Do you agree with the pundits who are saying the return of the old firm of Gregan, Larkham, Giteau and Mortlock is crucial for our success moving forward?
    George: A team is only as good as the contribution of all of its individuals combined. The backline can't perform without the forwards giving quality ball and the forwards can't perform to their best unless the backs are creating attacking opportunities past the defensive line. I wouldn't want to say that the old firm is essential for the team's overall performance but we have played a lot of footy together over the past four years and having those combinations certainly helps.

    From the Sideline: Does last weeks' performance against the Boks give the Wallabies confidence going into the game against the All Blacks in Melbourne on the 30th?
    George: I think you can as a team gain confidence from a loss provided you learn the lessons from the game. For us last week the lesson is that we need to take our opportunities when they arise because in games of this level and nature they don't arise often.

    From the Sideline: George your form seems to be as good as it's ever been in your career. Would you agree?

    George: It's related to the overall performance of the team. The forwards created a good platform and the backs are creating the right options. It enables me provide good variety in attack. I am enjoying my defensive game and playing a leadership role in the overall defensive organisation of the team. In fact I am enjoying the game now as much as ever before.

    From the Sideline: Thanks George for taking the time to chat and from all at RUPA and its supporters we wish you the very best in this your last season in Wallaby colours.

    George: Thanks RUPA and all those Wallaby supporters out there. We appreciate your support.

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    I think George has understated the impact of having the back four back in place. But his point about the team needing to work well is relevent - your backs can't do much if they dod not have the ball!

    Good to see Dunning have a good game, although you have to wonder why he couldn't get a run on game for the Tah's during the super 14.

    Happy, like your avatar mate.

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    Also pleased to see Dunning pull one out, but it's a somewhat different game against the ABs - it'll be interesting to see how all the forwards go getting to the breakdown.

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