Questions are being raised about the future of George Gregan's international career after Australia coach John Connolly reportedly asked the scrum-half to consider sitting out Australia's end-of-season tour to Europe in November.
Wallabies spokesperson Michael Earsman said Connolly had asked the veteran number nine to think about standing aside for the tour to let the brigade of talented young Australian half-backs obtain some international experience before next year's World Cup. Earsman said: "Connolly had one conversation with Gregan regarding that, to gauge his thoughts on resting. It is at a very preliminary stage."
Earsman said Gregan had been asked to "go away and provide some feedback".
Gregan, in the 1999 World Cup-winning side, is the most capped player in history and last Saturday equalled John Eales' record for the most matches as captain of Australia with 55 Tests.
But with the Bledisloe Cup gone and the Tri-Nations series title almost certainly belonging to New Zealand, Connolly is looking ahead to the World Cup in France next year and a pack of eager young half-backs wait to grab the chance to play for the Wallabies. n The Scottish Rugby Union have frozen ticket prices for next year's Six Nations Championship while reducing admission fees for the visit of
Italy. Prices against Ireland and Wales will start at £30 while the Italy match will see admission begin at £20 with concessions available for under-18s.
The ticketing policy follows the favourable pricing for the autumn Test series with matches against Romania, Pacific Islanders and Australia.