Whitaker happy playing second fiddle - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Whitaker happy playing second fiddle

11/04/2003 06:35:26 AM Comments (0)

Chris Whitaker would love to be Australia's first-choice halfback, but not if it costs the Wallabies the chance to defend the Rugby World Cup in November.

Whitaker has played 12 tests for Australia but spent most of the past five years on the bench watching George Gregan wear the No.9 jersey.

With Gregan now the Wallaby skipper, Whitaker does not expect the situation to change unless Gregan is injured - a scenario Whitaker hopes will not happen.

"I wouldn't want George to get injured. He's too important to the Wallabies and for the World Cup," Whitaker said.

"I'd love to play, but if having George means we will win the World Cup, then I'd rather that happened."

Whitaker, who will start at halfback for the Waratahs against the Hurricanes on Friday night, was also confident the Wallabies would be competitive.

But with the fifth-placed Waratahs the best of the three Australian teams in the Super 12, there is speculation the Wallabies are in decline.

Whitaker disputed that, although he did concede New Zealand rugby seemed to be on a high.

There has also been talk the poor performances by the Queensland Reds and patchy form of the Waratahs and Brumbies shows a lack of depth in the Australian game.

Wallaby coach Eddie Jones rejected that, saying a talented group of young players have emerged during the Super 12.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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