Rugby Championship News

Gregan advocates Bokless Tri-Nations





George Gregan believes a Tri-Nations minus South Africa but with another team would be an option, in the wake of Jake White’s decision to leave 20-odd first choice players at home for South Africa’s Australasia tour.

Gregan, who plays his 132nd Test for Australia against South Afica on Saturday, said it was simply a case of a partnership dissolving, as the fall-out and disputes between SANZAR and SARU continue.

“I can’t speak on behalf of South Africa, but a partnership . . . if someone’s not happy in a partnership, then obviously it’s got to be dissolved and you’ve got to find a new way to move forward, and there’s always been a really strong relationship between Australia and New Zealand,” he said to The Herald.

“If that was to happen, you’d be able to find something which would work and it would give opportunities to a lot of the Pacific Islanders, other teams . . . Argentina, who knows?

“But they’d be able to come up with another concept if they (the South Africans) wanted to align themselves with the northern hemisphere.”

South Africa had promised to bring a full-strength squad on tour, just as Australia and New Zealand did when they went on tour to South Africa in June, but changed their plans after the defeat to New Zealand in Durban, naming fatigue as the reason.

Yet David Campese, also a Wallaby Test centurion, reckons that the ‘B’ Boks, as they are being referred to in Australia, are no shrinking violets.

Writing in his column for The Daily Telegraph, Campese reminded the Australian public that the match was a make-or-break for some players in terms of Rugby World Cup selection.

“These blokes are playing for pride and World Cup positions,” wrote Campese.

“They have plenty of experience and, in many positions, are of comparable quality with the players left at home in the republic.

“Knowing how Boks coach Jake White operates, he will also have them drooling at the chance to shove the words of the critics straight back down their throats.

“These guys might not be first-choice Test selections, but they are not duds. Nor are they a B-grade Test outfit.

“Apart from Australia, New Zealand and France, you would back them to beat almost any other side in the world.

“So the Wallabies will need to be on their guard. Any hint of complacency and they could be severely embarrassed.”
365 Digital

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