Genia can be greater than Gregan

One of the key figures in Australia's 2001 series win over the Lions has hailed the latest national superstar as an even better player than himself. [more]

Genia can be greater than Gregan

One of the key figures in Australia’s 2001 series win over the Lions has hailed the latest national superstar as an even better player than himself.

Wallaby great George Gregan played a hugely influential role in his country’s 2-1 series triumph eight years ago and is widely regarded as one of the best scrum-halves ever to grace the world game.

But the 1999 World Cup winner believes the current crop of Wallabies will have an even more talented general in the No9 shirt when the Lions arrive in three years’ time.

Queensland Reds scrum-half Will Genia has already established an impressive international reputation despite only making his Test debut last year, with reporters quick to liken the 22-year-old to his veteran predecessor.

But Gregan himself has played down those comparisons, instead making it clear that he sees Genia as a player with far greater abilities than those which won the former Brumbies star 139 Australian caps. 

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"He’s got a lot more skills than me," Gregan told sportal.com.au. 

"He’s bigger, stronger and he can kick a lot further. I’m a dinosaur compared to him. He’s got a good head on his shoulders. 

"I like the way he plays. He has time and space to do things, which is a sign of a real quality player. 

"He’s only 22 and has heaps of improvement in him. That’s what’s exciting." 

Despite his tender age, Genia was thrust into the role of Reds captain when James Horwill sustained a long-term injury in the opening weeks of the Super 14 season.

And far from having an adverse affect on his individual performances, Gregan believes the added responsibility has helped Genia develop even quicker. 

"I think that leadership has really helped him go from strength to strength," added Gregan. 

"He is a very good player who understands the game. He’s very skilful and makes good decisions under pressure.

"He takes care of his forwards, has very good pass and knows how to change his game when the opportunity presents itself.

"He’s his own man, and he’s doing a great job. He also picked up the game late which shows how much talent he has."

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