Gregan lends a hand in Wallabies camp

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman in Japan

Legendary Wallabies halfback George Gregan is lending his knowledge to the current Test crop, joining the national side in camp in Brisbane this week.

Gregan has been part of the Wallabies camp under coach Michael Cheika before, helping develop some of the side's leaders back in 2017, but this is more of a specialised role, working with the group's halves ahead of their July 20 Rugby Championship opener.

"It's been a pleasure working with the players, the extended squad, minus obviously the Brumbies who played in the semi-final of Super Rugby but Michael (Cheika) asked me to see if i could come in.

I had some time available to help with the preparations going into the Rugby Championship and the coming year, specifically around the position I used to play which was nines and 10s so it's been enjoyable."

The Wallabies' current starting halfback Will Genia said Gregan's input had been invaluable in camp.

"He's probably looking after our attack a little bit more in terms of a general sense rather than specific stuff with the nines," he said.

"We did some stuff with him today around running lines and stuff like that but it's just good to have a voice there, someone who's done it all in the game and achieved everything so just to have someone like that in and around the group particularly from a nine's perspective just giving you little bits of advice here and there and whatnot is certainly very beneficial."

Bad Thorn and George Gregan are helping out the Wallabies. Photo: ARU MediaThe 139-Test scrumhalf said there wasn't anything complicated in his advice to players like Will Genia, Nick Phipps and Jake Gordon.

"It's just basics, there's no rocket science to it, just making sure they're practising good habits and they're available," he said.

"A halfback's always got to have his bread and butter, also got to be a running threat, particularly in the modern game, and just working on those things which enable them to do both those jobs."

He was in camp with the group in Sydney last week and has joined them again for this week's conditioning camp in Brisbane, set to wrap up on Thursday.

Gregan had praise for returned no. 9 Nic White, who linked up with the group last week after four years away from the Wallabies environment.

"It's great to see Nic back," he sid.

"Playing overseas in France and the UK was very good for him in terms of rounding off his entire rugby game.

"I did some work with him when he started at the Brumbies many years ago and he's come back a really rounded player which is what the Wallabies squad is always looking for - players who are going to add to it and he's definitely done that."

Nic White is back in Wallabies camp. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyWhite hasn't played for the Wallabies since the 2015 Rugby Championship, overlooked by Cheika for that World Cup, but the Exeter scrumhalf is a strong contender to be on the plane to  Japan in September.

The Brumbies' Wallabies prospects are the only absentees from camp this week, with the team still travelling back from Buenos Aires after their semi-final loss to the Jaguares on Saturday morning.

A host of the ACT group are expected to be part of the Wallabies plans this season after an impressive 2019 run.

The Wallabies will name an initial squad on Wednesday for their Rugby Championship opener against the Springboks, with the team departing for South Africa on Sunday.

David Pocock has already been ruled out of the clash, still working his way back from a tricky calf injury, while some of the Brumbies who have had major loads in 2019 could also be rested from the trip to Africa.

The Wallabies take on the Springboks on July 20 local, Sunday July 21 1:05am AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and Kayo.