South Africa is Wallabies' last frontier - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

South Africa is Wallabies' last frontier

By Adrian Warren 04/08/2005 07:25:44 PM Comments (0)

Captain George Gregan has compared the Wallabies' failure to win rugby matches at altitude in South Africa to the drought the Australian cricket team endured on the subcontinent.

Gregan, who led the team in its two losses to South Africa over the past two weekends, has been named at halfback in the Wallaby Team of the Decade.

He was one of just three current Test players, along with five-eighth Stephen Larkham and flanker George Smith, who were named in the run-on side.

The team selected by a panel of 30 rugby journalists and commentators, was predictably dominated by the 1999 World Cup winning team, which provided 11 of the starters.

Last Saturday's 22-16 loss to South Africa in Johannesburg, stretched Australia's run without a victory against South Africa at altitude to 42 years.

Whilst Australia's inability to win in South Africa dominated a lot of the post-match wash-up, 1999 World Cup-winning captain John Eales, who was named captain of the Team of the Decade, pointed out it was nothing new.

"No-one has won against South Africa over the last 15 years playing at altitude, so what they (the current Wallabies) have gone through is very disappointing," Eales said.

Gregan drew a parallel with the Australian cricket team's dearth of success on the subcontinent, especially in India, up until last year.

"I think that with Australian rugby it's pretty similar to the Aussie cricketers and I think once we crack it, then there will be just this amazing belief that we can win everywhere," Gregan said.

"Because we've pretty much won everywhere else, it's still the one we haven't quite cracked and we're not too far away."

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