Menu superrugby.co.nz

News

Jones wants Gregan targeted

NZRU

Saturday, February 17, 2007    Sportal.co.nz    NZRU

Jones, who coached the Brumbies to their first ever Super title in 2001 before leaving to lead the Wallabies for four seasons, said Gregan and Larkham were true legends of the game, but every player has a beginning to the end, and Jones hopes it is this weekend.

"They've been outstanding. They've won World Cups, they've won [Philips] Tri-Nations, they've won Super 14s. They've won everything that's been going around and their influence is still strong on the game," said Jones.

"But at some stage, that influence has to stop and we'd like to think on Saturday night we can maybe dilute some of their influence on Australian rugby."

Jones believes the Reds combination of halfback Nic Berry and in-form first five-eighths Berrick Barnes have got the skills and armoury to win the battle of the playmakers.

With Sam Cordingley sidelined courtesy of a foot injury for the start of the new campaign, 22-year-old Berry joined rising star Barnes, 20, in the heart of the action.

But the pair's history goes back to schooldays when they played together at Ipswich Grammar school in Queensland and Jones knows only a cohesive half combination will be able to outfox the experienced campaigners of Gregan and Larkham.

"Berrick has trained better than I've ever seen him train this week," said Jones.

"He's ready to play well but in reality what the 10s do is going to be reliant on how their nines play - and they've got a very experienced nine in George Gregan."

"It's a great challenge for us. I can't really remember a side really getting to George and to stop the Brumbies you've got to get at George.

"He's a hard man to get under. I've seen Byron Kelleher get under his skin but we're just going to have to exert pressure through the forwards to be able to put pressure on George."