Talk of rift in Wallabies camp dismissed - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Talk of rift in Wallabies camp dismissed

By Samantha Broun 13/10/2009 08:23:01 PM Comments (0)

Flyhalf Matt Giteau and former captain Stirling Mortlock insist there is no rift within the Wallabies squad over new leadership appointments.

Giteau and Mortlock presented a united front for the media as the Wallabies re-entered camp in Coogee on Tuesday, pledging their full support for coach Robbie Deans' vision with new skipper Rocky Elsom at the helm.

Reports of player disenchantment and tension within the 35-man squad ahead of their Spring Tour were off 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 said.

Deans overlooked his key playmaker for the vice-captaincy - instead opting for the in-form Berrick Barnes, who is tipped to usurp Giteau at No.10 and push him out into the centres.

Giteau admitted 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 boss) John O'Neill have appointed," he said.

Mortlock says he expressed a keen desire to lead Australia on their end of season tour.

Mortlock said on Tuesday he had numerous discussions with Deans pertaining to the Wallabies captaincy where he stated his ambition to return from injury and skipper Australia on their first Grand Slam attempt in 25 years.

Mortlock said he was unaware that Elsom would replace him as captain, but knew a leadership shake-up was on the cards.

"Robbie and I had discussions probably two weeks leading up to the (squad) announcement ... it was sort of a situation that we were all aware of," Mortlock said as the Wallabies re-joined camp in Sydney.

"Probably the one thing I didn't know was who would be replacing me, so that was a nice little surprise to see Rocky get up there.

"I was really keen to try to lead this tour and I stated that (but) the reality is I totally understand the logic and the reasoning behind selecting a new captain in Rocky and building from here on up until (World Cup) 2011 and I'm 100 per cent behind them."

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