Gregan takes a breather

Stirling Mortlock is likely to captain the Wallabies on their end of year tour to Europe with George Gregan being rested ahead of the 2007 World Cup.

The 33-year-old, 127-Test veteran confessed that the break is the best option for him at the moment, with a demanding 2007 schedule just around the corner.

“I haven’t completed a solid block of physical training since 2000, so having the opportunity to rest from the spring tour will give me a chance to make some good physical gains leading into a World Cup year,” Gregan said in an Australian Rugby Union statement.

While many former players have been calling for his head this season, Gregan has answered them all with consistent performances across the nine Tests he played this year. Wallaby coach John Connolly confirmed Gregan’s international spot is under no threat due to his being rested.

“This does not mean that George’s test career is over,” Connolly said. “We understand from George’s perspective that he wants to go out on a high after the World Cup and is focused on getting into the best possible shape to give himself the chance to perform at his best next year.

“I think he’s had a very solid year for the Wallabies and has led the team pretty well.”