Weepu keen to stay at nine

Hurricanes ace focusing on scrum-half duties

Last Updated: 14/02/08 12:51pm

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Weepu: Will only switch to No.10 as a last resort

Weepu: Will only switch to No.10 as a last resort

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Piri Weepu says only an injury crisis will force him to wear the Hurricanes' No.10 jersey again.

Weepu started three games at fly-half last year after he replaced Jimmy Gopperth during the Hurricanes' loss to the Lions in round eight of the Super 14.

The move to No.10 could have been one of the contributing factors to his omission from Graham Henry's World Cup squad, where Weepu was so devastated that he even considered a move to league.

It was a shift that showed how far backline coach Aussie McLean's faith in Gopperth had plummeted, but Weepu said he was not interested in playing there again, especially if it was only because another player's form had dropped.

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"I've spoken to Coops [coach Colin Cooper] and told him my main focus is [number] nine," Weepu told rugbyheaven.com.au.

"If injuries do occur I will help the team out, but if there are no injuries I want to play nine."

Cooper may have other ideas as he said Weepu remained an option at No.10 and that the pressure was on Gopperth to show he could stamp his authority on a game.

"We want him to control the game, to keep the ball in front of the forwards whether it's through his kicking, how he uses the backs, or his own ability to run," Cooper said.

"We're looking for real direction and leadership from Jimmy."

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