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Gregan expected to play Springboks

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Sportal.co.nz     03 Jul 2007     allblacks.com

Gregan suffered a knock to his right knee midway through the second-half of his side's come-from-behind victory over the All Blacks on the weekend. But Wallaby coach John Connolly confirmed on Monday his veteran halfback is certain to start alongside first five-eighths Stephen Larkham, who will play his 100th Test match, also his last on home soil. Connolly said while the match holds much significance for the veteran combination the team won't place too much emphasis on the milestone ahead of the match. "It's a great occasion, you don't often get a guy whose (played) 130 plus (Test matches) and another guy playing his hundredth Test," Connolly said. "The contribution they've made to Australian Rugby's phenomenal and they're virtually icons of Australian sport." "Obviously we'll congratulate them before they go out and the crowd, and you guys (the media) will make a lot to do with it this week and we'll probably leave it at that," he said. The Wallabies will be without damaging No 8 Wycliff Palu who suffered nerve damage too his right shoulder against the All Blacks - Stephen Hoiles or David Lyons will take his place in the starting line-up. "Hoiles has done quite well in the last couple of weeks, whether he's a starting Test eight we've gotta see, and Lyons in the past has proven that he can aim up at Test football," Connolly said. The only other injury concern is hooker Stephen Moore, who is battling a chest injury and is rated a 50 per cent chance of taking the field against the 'Boks. The Wallabies will face a new-look South African line-up widely touted as a B-side, but Connolly insists the Boks possess great depth and is expecting a typically tough encounter on Saturday. "There's no doubt (lock Victor) Matfield and (flanker Schalk) Berger add something to the side, take those two out, you can argue who should be in the side … they've got a lot of depth, they're very much like New Zealand," Connolly said. "And a lot of these guys have a point to prove, there's probably a dozen spots up for grabs for the World Cup for them (Springboks) and they're a very capable side."