Springbok rival backs Gregan - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Springbok rival backs Gregan

By Michael Crutcher 31/07/2003 06:10:58 AM Comments (0)

George Gregan's oldest Test rival believes the Wallabies captain doesn't deserve to be bagged and remains the best man to lead Australia to another World Cup.

South African halfback Joost van der Westhuizen, who has also been called too old and too slow, said Gregan had "a few years in him" despite the pressure gripping his struggling Wallabies.

The veteran scrum generals will continue their eight-year rivalry in Saturday night's Tri Nations match at Suncorp Stadium.

"You're asking the right person because I've heard the same things and even I'm too old," van der Westhuizen said.

"George is a brilliant international player. He knows exactly what to do.

"He knows in his heart, and the coach knows as well, what are his real plus points and his real minuses.

"George has still got it and he's still got a few years in him."

While Gregan and coach Eddie Jones have worn most of the barbs following last Saturday's 50-21 loss to the All Blacks, veteran fullback Matthew Burke was the only high-profile casualty.

Burke was dropped from the starting team for Saturday night's clash when Jones recalled Chris Latham to help the Wallabies break their three-game losing streak.

Burke may have worn the Australian No.15 jersey for the last time with Stirling Mortlock and Joe Roff expected back from injury before the World Cup begins in October.

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