Give Quade a crack with Wallabies: Horan - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Give Quade a crack with Wallabies: Horan

By Jim Morton 31/08/2009 05:46:36 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies great Tim Horan believes it's time Matt Giteau was unshackled from the playmaking duties and moved back to run amok at inside centre.

Horan, who played the bulk of his 80 Tests in the Australian No.12 jersey, would like to see Giteau wear it again, and have the dynamic Quade Cooper promoted to start at five eighth against South Africa.

Cooper is in doubt for Saturday night's Tri-Nations Test at Suncorp Stadium with a knee injury but coach Robbie Deans also has Berrick Barnes as a serious five-eighth option.

Barnes, who missed the 32-25 loss in Perth, returned to training on Monday afternoon at Ballymore while his mercurial Queensland teammate Cooper was left to rest his low-grade medial ligament strain.

Barnes is the more likely inside backs reinforcement but Horan was in no doubt Giteau needs to have more opportunities to run the ball wider from the position he started his career.

The former Test selector liked what he saw in the final 10 minutes at Subiaco Oval when Cooper expertly fed Giteau - both out wide and inside, including for one try - to have the Springboks guessing.

"There's no doubt Gits is one of the best 10s going around but he's also one of the best 12s going around," Horan told AAP.

"I think it was evident when Quade came on the space he was able to provide to Giteau wider because of the passes that he was throwing.

"You have to keep in mind the game was gone but I thought Quade really impressed and added some spark."

Horan felt the five-Test rookie also had the speed and element of surprise on his side to help break the stiff Springbok defence which has also been effective in slowing down Australian phase play.

"If Quade is fit I'd like to see Quade at 10," he said.

"You either have to go wide or go in through the middle, there's no point going in between.

"Either (Cooper), or if Barnes plays, and has 10 on his back or 12 on his back, he needs to play a lot more at first-receiver position.

"It certainly helps when Giteau's got a second receiver there and someone else to step in."

Giteau, still one of the Wallabies best in Perth, knew he had to lift in attack without the injured Barnes alongside him, but missed him more in defence.

Australia paid the price twice due to miscommunication between the playmaker and stop-gap inside centre Adam Ashley-Cooper by conceding first-phase tries.

Barnes is regarded as the Wallabies backline defensive linchpin and it would make sense for him to stay at inside centre in defence, even if Deans wanted him to play first-receiver in attack.

Deans will name his side on Tuesday with Queensland halfback Will Genia poised to replace Luke Burgess, No.8 Richard Brown under pressure from Wycliff Palu, and Drew Mitchell a chance to start on the wing.

While he has more experience at 12 and is prepared to play wherever chosen, Giteau personally hopes Deans retains him as chief playmaker.

"I prefer playing at 10, that's the position I most enjoy to play," he said. "At 12 you run wider but it's hard to control the game."

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