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Flanker McReight shrugs off Wallabies rock star tag


Fraser McReight has laughed off a description by Wallabies coach Eddie Jones that the openside flankers are the "rock stars" of a rugby team.

While his blond locks give off Kurt Cobain vibes, the 24-year-old insisted he wasn't seeking the spotlight within the Wallabies' World Cup campaign in France.

McReight is following a golden path of players to wear the Wallabies No.7 jersey, most recently Michael Hooper, the country's most capped captain.

Before Hooper, who was left out of the World Cup squad, there was the likes of flankers David Pocock, George Smith, David Wilson and Simon Poidevin who carried some swagger within the Wallabies.

Further afield, legends like All Black Richie McCaw and Springbok Francois Pienaar captured the headlines.

McReight laughed when told of Jones's characterisation and thought it could have been the coach playing some mind-games.

"I think he's pretty good at keeping people level and keeping them grounded but then he knows the right time of when to pump people's tyres up really well and that's the experience he has, being around for so long," said McReight, who has played 14 Tests since making his debut in 2020.

"I'm probably not the only person getting it; everyone in the group is getting it at different times.

"I definitely wouldn't say I'm a rock star - I'm far from it - I'll stay away from that!"

McReight represents the changing of the guard under Jones, taking over from Hooper, who played 125 Tests and led the team for the best part of the last decade.

In Australia's opening pool game win over Georgia in Paris, the Queenslander did his best to emulate Hooper's indefatigable approach.

He topped the tackle count, making 11 from his 80 minutes at Stade de France, which was three more than the next best Wallaby, Tom Hooper.

With an average age of 23, McReight said six backrowers in the squad had formed a tight bond off the field.

"There's times where we meet as a group and have a coffee and chat about the game and how we're feeling and how we can add to the group and I think that's really important," he said.

"We're all very young and have played a lot of footy together so we get along really well.

"It's about coming together really well and connecting because there's going to be players who aren't picked.

"The calibre of our backrow group is quite high so it's about training really hard together and pushing each other to get better and then once we step off the field we're mates again."