Gregan named as captain for rugby tour - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gregan named as captain for rugby tour

By Adrian Warren 15/09/2005 08:07:35 PM Comments (0)

George Gregan was confirmed as captain for Australia's upcoming rugby tour of Europe, but coach Eddie Jones warned some established players could still miss out with a slew of talented youngsters named in the Wallabies training squad.

Nine uncapped players were selected in the 45-member squad, including seven Australian under-21 representatives.

Despite speculation in recent weeks that Gregan would be dumped from the squad, Jones confirmed the 114-Test halfback would lead the Wallabies on their four-Test tour of France, England, Ireland and Wales in November.

"We certainly looked at George's form as you do with every player's form at end of the season, but he will go on tour as captain," Jones said.

The coach stopped short however of giving any long guarantee about Gregan retaining his position through to the 2007 World Cup in France.

"The only thing we're doing is selecting the team for the tour this time and like at the end of the winter season, at the end of the spring tour, we'll evaluate each player," Jones said

Props Greg Holmes and David Fitter, hooker Tatafu Polota-Na, back rowers Scott Fava and Leroy Houston, halfback Brett Shehan, five-eighth Scott Daruda, and outside backs Cameron Shepherd and Digby Ioane were the uncapped players named.

With the selectors looking for new blood to bolster their much maligned pack, Jones was adamant players like 18-year-old Houston and 20-year-od Polota-Nau were contenders for the final 30-man squad to be named on October 10.

"The aim of this tour is to win the four Tests, but we've got to keep on developing a team and certainly in the winter season we struggled up front at various stages, so we've got to find a good combative forward pack, and part of the tour's objectives will be to find that," Jones said.

"We're going to play four teams that are going to be very strong up front, so it's a great chance for us to test our strength and to find the solutions to some of the problems we've suffered this year.

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