Rugby Championship News

Tuqiri slip gives Gerrard one more chance





Mark Gerrard, who had fallen down the Wallaby pecking order after a disappointing June series against Wales, has been given one last chance to play his way back into the team following Lote Tuqiri’s indiscretions earlier this week.

Gerrard was told he would be playing on Monday morning, and confessed that it had come as a big surprise.

“(It’s) probably a bit disappointing the circumstances (in which) I’ve been given this start but you’ve got to take opportunities when you can as I said before, so I’ve just got to concentrate on what I have to do right this weekend,” Gerrard said to reporters.

“Obviously not playing the last couple of games … and not playing much Test rugby at all, 90 minutes in the last eight weeks.”

“I haven’t played much so I’m really not gonna change how I play and how I go about this game I’m just gonna have to concentrate on doing the small things right and hopefully everything will pan out well.”

Wallabies coach John Connolly made public his opinion that a good performance for Gerrard would maybe be the difference between his being selected for the Rugby World Cup or not, and that he was in the side for his right-footed capabilities.

“For him it’s a huge opportunity, it’s a crossroads Test for Mark. He’s been in and out of the side and now he’s got his chance and it’s a massive game for him,” said Connolly.

“I view Drew (Mitchell) primarily as a left-winger, he’s a left-footer, he runs with the ball in his left hand.

“Adam Ashley-Cooper also prefers the left-wing which is unusual because he’s a right-hander but he carries the ball in the left-hand (and) he steps of his right-foot, so they’re both primarily left wingers and a lot more comfortable there.”

“I didn’t want to move Adam Ashley-Cooper away from the left wing because of his performance last week, consequently I didn’t want to throw Drew into the deep-end there in that he’s not comfortable (on the right-wing), he’s very comfortable on the left-wing.”
365 Digital

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