Farr-Jones backs Burgess for Wallabies place



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One of Australia’s all time greats Nick Farr-Jones, is convinced the Waratahs’ Luke Burgess must be the next Wallabies No.9.

Farr-Jones was named by the Australian Rugby Union as one of its key statesmen yesterday and he says that Burgess had shown he had the potential to be a dynamic Test representative since taking over as NSW halfback midway during the Super 14 season.

Farr-Jones who was the 1991 World cup winning captain said that he first saw Burgess when he was at former Wallabies coach Bob Dwyer’s Southern Highlands property, and the pair were watching the ABC telecast of a Sydney club match.

“I remember a number of years ago watching that game and saying to Bob, ‘Who’s that kid? He looks good to me,”‘ Farr-Jones said in the Brisbane Times.

“At the time I was hugely impressed, just because of the speed and his quickness of decision-making. Since then, he’s obviously come good. Then again,he was always good ‘ he’s just been given the chance.”

Farr-Jones says that he has been further impressed by Burgess’s play this season and that he is easily the best No.9 of the four Australian Super 14 provinces.

“He has certainly put up his hand to wear that No.9 [Wallabies] jersey. He’s got great decision-making. He’s got the speed and will attract defences close to rucks and mauls,” Farr-Jones said.

“It’s no criticism of [George] Gregan, but it’s something we haven’t had for the last couple of years.

“Gregan was a wonderful leader and a great player. But that ability to attract defences close to the ruck and maul is something we’ve missed, and I think it will give our guys out wide a bit more space.”

Farr-Jones believed that Burgess would alleviate a lot of problems for the new Wallabies coach Robbie Deans, because, “I think he is exactly what we need.

“He will put some pressure on close-in defenders, so that they have to start concentrating on a No.9 and hopefully leave some space elsewhere.”



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