Delve can give Wales advantage: Macqueen - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Delve can give Wales advantage: Macqueen

Melissa Woods 29/03/2011 02:45:41 PM Comments (0)

With the Rugby World Cup looming, Melbourne Super Rugby coach Rod Macqueen believes Welsh recruit Gareth Delve can offer something to his national side that no other player can.

The 28-year-old Rebels vice-captain put his Test career in Wales on the line by leaving the UK to join Melbourne but Macqueen believes the fact that he's playing in the Super competition makes him an even more attractive selection for Wales, given host New Zealand, Australia and South Africa are the world's top three ranked countries.

"I think the fact that he's playing in a southern hemisphere competition and understands a lot more about southern hemisphere games is an advantage," said Macqueen, who steered the Wallabies to World Cup success in 1999.

"With the World Cup down here in New Zealand and playing against all those New Zealand and South African players, you get to know their play a lot better and that's certainly an advantage for him."

The first Welshman to play in the competition, Delve has proven to be one of Melbourne's best signings, delivering consistently good performances during their erratic start to the Super Rugby season.

Macqueen said he hadn't heard from any Wales officials but would be disappointed if they weren't keeping a close eye on the No.8, who has played 11 Tests.

"This is a very high level competition he's playing in and he's done very well against his opposition."

Rebels players such as halfback Nick Phipps, flanker Jarrod Saffy and winger Cooper Vuna have been mentioned as possibilities for the Wallabies for the September-October World Cup in New Zealand, while Delve is the best international hope.

England coach Martin Johnson made it clear he wouldn't select players outside of Europe, ruling out the Rebels English five-eighth Danny Cipriani and hard-working flanker Michael Lipman, who were both already on the outer.

Macqueen was delighted with the form of both the Englishmen, saying they were worthy of consideration.

"Danny's come over here being told that he's not being considered and he understands that but from my point of view he's showing that he's right up there with the best five-eighths in this competition," he said.

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