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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 September 2006, 05:33 GMT 06:33 UK
Gregan opts out of European tour
Australia captain George Gregan
Gregan still wants to be part of Australia's World Cup squad
Australia captain George Gregan has confirmed that he will miss the Wallabies' tour to Europe in November.

The 33-year-old scrum-half, who wants to play in next year's World Cup, says he needs a break from the game to get himself in the best possible shape.

"The chance to rest will give me a chance to make physical gains leading into the World Cup," said Gregan, who has a world record 127 caps.

Centre Stirling Mortlock is likely to take over the captaincy.

"This does not mean that George's Test career is over," said head coach John Connolly.

"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.

"Having said that, no-one is guaranteed a place in the team for next year. The tour will be important for a number of players, as will next year's Super 14."

Gregan has come in for some fierce criticism in recent seasons but has retained his place under coaches Eddie Jones and John Connolly.

Australia will play Wales, Italy, Ireland and Scotland as well as four midweek matches on their tour.

The squad for the trip will be announced on 3 October.



SEE ALSO
Gregan drops hint over retirement
22 Aug 06 |  Rugby Union
Veteran Gregan under new attack
07 Aug 06 |  Internationals
Gregan intends to make World Cup
28 May 06 |  Internationals


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