ACT Hall of Fame inductee George Gregan says the Brumbies are on the right track for a Super Rugby championship. Photo: Chris Lane
Australian rugby great George Gregan believes the ACT Brumbies have the "drive and the talent" to break their 10-year Super Rugby title drought in the coming seasons.
George Gregan in his prime with the Wallabies. Photo: Getty Images
The Brumbies made the Super Rugby grand final last year and were knocked out in the semi-finals this season.
But Gregan, who was inducted into the ACT Sport Hall of Fame on Friday, believes the club has laid the foundations for long-term success as it aims to win its first title since 2004.
"They've given themselves a chance to get back up there, there's the drive and the talent to be playing at the [finals] end of the season," Gregan said.
"A lot of teams want to win it. But [for the Brumbies] it would be nice to put all their hard work from the last two years into results and I'm sure the drive and desire is there to do it."
Foundation Brumby Gregan joins former teammates Joe Roff and Geoff Didier in the ACT Sport Hall of Fame.
Regarded as one of Brumbies and Wallabies' greatest scrumhalves, Gregan made his Super Rugby debut in 1996, won two titles with the Brumbies and helped Australia claim World Cup glory in 1999.
But until Gregan started his school days at St Edmund's College, the pint-sized No. 9 was a rugby league halfback.
He was at school when Canberra Raiders legends Ricky Stuart and David Furner were dominating the schoolboy competitions.
Gregan switched to rugby and set himself the goal of playing for the St Edmund's College first XV.
He was twice offered the chance to cross codes to rugby league, the first in 1993 with the Raiders and then again in 1995 when the Adelaide Rams came knocking.
"I was at St Eddies from about Year 5 onwards and as soon as you go there, even if you played rugby league beforehand, the goal is the first XV rugby side," Gregan said.
"Rugby was the closest thing to rugby league and I enjoyed it right from when I started in under-10s, I still remember my first coach, Jack McGuire. He was a fantastic coach and that's where I started learning the game.
"The ball was always alive in rugby union, it was different for me. I still enjoy rugby league, but it's structured. If you were good enough to hold on to the ball you could keep it and that was attractive."
Gregan played 139 Tests for the Wallabies, a world record until Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll set a new benchmark last year.
His 136 Brumbies caps were a club record until George Smith passed him last year.
But he played at four World Cups, spent 11 years with the Brumbies, claimed the Bledisloe Cup and Tri Nations trophies, is part of the IRB Hall of Fame, the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, has an Order of Australia medal and the eastern grandstand at Canberra Stadium bears his name.
"All those things have accrued over time, I was lucky enough to play with a lot of like-minded players," Gregan said.
"They had a similar drive and we achieved a lot of success together. We had disappointment as well, so the journey was fantastic and it was great to do it in Canberra.
"Winning our first Super Rugby title [in 2001] was amazing, we won it in style. That was a special night."
Super Rugby games: 136
Super Rugby titles: 2 (2001, 2004)
International titles: World Cup (1999), Bledisloe Cup (1994, 98, 99, 2000, 01, 02), Tri Nations (2000, 01)