Senior Wallabies back Elsom

Former skipper Stirling Mortlock and flyhalf Matt Giteau on Tuesday pledged their support for new captain Rocky Elsom and said there was no rift within the Wallabies’ squad ahead of their tour to Europe.

Giteau and Mortlock presented a united front at a press conference giving their full support for coach Robbie Deans’s new leadership team of Elsom and vice-captain Berrick Barnes.

Reports of player disenchantment and tension within the 35-man touring squad were wide of the mark, Giteau said.

”No tension, I’m obviously excited to be picked in the squad and looking forward to the tour coming up,” Giteau told reporters.

Deans overlooked his key playmaker for the vice-captaincy, instead opting for Barnes, amid media speculation that he will usurp Giteau at number ten and push him into the centres.

Giteau said he was disappointed he missed out on a new leadership role.

”I think if you talk to any players within the squad at some point they would like some form of leadership role at some point in time, so from that point of view [I’m] disappointed but fully supportive of the guys that obviously the coach and [ARU chief] John O’Neill have appointed,” he said.

Mortlock said he was feeling confident about his fitness and was looking forward to forcing his way back into the starting 15 after sitting out the unsuccessful Tri-Nations series with a knee injury.

He also pledged his support for Elsom as his successor as captain.

”Rocky already knows that I’m there for him in any capacity that he wishes,” Mortlock said.

”It’s a change. My role within the team will change somewhat, but I’ll be still offering and try to give as much as I can to the group.

”That’s the important thing, that every single guy in this squad is contributing as much as we can, to make sure this is a very positive and productive trip.”

The Wallabies leave for Tokyo on October 24 ahead of the season’s final Bledisloe Cup Test against the All Blacks on October 31.

The Australians then move on to the British Isles where they will play England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales over successive weekends next month. — AFP

 

AFP

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

‘It takes two to tango’: The private sector must ’fess...

During a webinar on Wednesday, the group chief executive of EOH, Stephen van Coller, called private sector participation in the Zondo commission into state capture ‘disappointing’

Maasai land in Tanzania earmarked for UAE royals

Protracted effort by authorities to evict the pastoralists in Loliondo for safari tourism has led to violent confrontation

A stylish way to pay

Steve Jobs said, “The best way to create value in the 21st century is to connect creativity with technology”. A fact leading African tech...

South Africa among countries where debt collection is most difficult

Some small to medium businesses are taking as long as 180 days to settle debts, according to an assessment by international insurer Allianz Trade
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×