Stars sign up for charity rugby match - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stars sign up for charity rugby match

By Jim Morton 03/02/2005 06:34:31 PM Comments (0)

It's all falling into place for Southern Hemisphere coach Rod Macqueen.

Following the lead of Australian captain George Gregan and Springbok counterpart John Smit, All Blacks skipper Tana Umaga and Wallabies deputy Phil Waugh jumped on board for next month's IRB Rugby Aid clash.

And high-profile winger Wendell Sailor also wants in as each Super 12 outfit came to the party by agreeing to release a single player for the March 5 tsunami relief charity match at Twickenham.

After the rockiest of starts to his plans of fielding the strongest possible side for the North-South world contest, a persuasive Macqueen is close to gaining his wish.

The former Wallabies coach received little support when the match was controversially scheduled during the second round of the Super 12 but has talked the New Zealand Rugby Union and NSW and Queensland into stunning backflips.

"It looks like we're going to have a top player from every province and that's a win for rugby," Macqueen told AAP.

"It's important to the status of this match and of the code that we have a top-quality side.

"If you look beyond the initial issues that we've had it's come together very well and that's a credit to the (national and Super 12) CEOs."

The 1999 World Cup-winning coach, likely to announce a 22-man squad next week, admitted Gregan's decision on Tuesday to sign-on out of the blue had been crucial to his process.

Gregan converted a potentially third-string outfit into virtually the best available by missing a Brumbies home game against the Pretoria-based Bulls to play.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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