Gregan cleared for farewell match

George Gregan, one of Australia’s two sporting icons who will make their final appearance for the Wallabies on home soil, has been cleared to take his place at scrum-half.

The 132-Test veteran, Gregan, and his long-time halfback partner Stephen Larkham, will play their final Test in Australia against South Africa at the Telstra Stadium in Sydney on Saturday – a crucial Tri-Nations encounter.

On what will be an historic night for Australian sport, Larkham will play his 100th Test for the Wallabies and in doing so will become the third player to register a century of Test caps for Australia – alongside Gregan and David Campese.

There was some doubt over the fitness of Gregan, the most capped player in the sport’s history, after he suffered a leg injury in the 20-15 win over New Zealand at the weekend.

However, Gregan will link up with Larkham after he was cleared on Monday.

Wallaby coach John Connolly indicated that his backline would remain unchanged after the impressive performance at the Melbourne Cricket Ground at the weekend.

However, Connolly confirmed that number eight Wycliff Palu would be ruled out of this week’s encounter, with his World Cup prospects to be known later this week after re-injuring his shoulder against the All Blacks.

Stephen Hoiles or David Lyons will take his place in the starting line-up.

Hooker Stephen Moore, who has a chest injury, is still in contention to play the Springboks this weekend.

“George [Gregan] is fine,” Connolly told the media on Monday.

“Stephen Moore still has a crook chest and we will make a decision on that this Wednesday, but Palu is out this weekend,” Connolly added.

“He will undergo Tests this week and we will keep his fingers crossed.

“But a decision will made on him on Friday exactly where we sit.”

Connolly said while the match holds much significance for the veteran halfback combination, the team won’t place too much emphasis on the milestone ahead of the match.

“It’s a great occasion, you don’t often get a guy whose [played] 130 plus [Test matches] and another guy playing his hundredth Test,” Connolly said.

“The contribution they’ve made to Australian rugby is phenomenal and they’re virtually icons of Australian sport.

“Obviously we’ll congratulate them before they go out and the crowd, and you guys [the media] will make a lot to do with it this week and we’ll probably leave it at that,” he said.

 

365 Digital

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