13 Oct 2009

Mortlock says reports of player rift over new leadership setup off the mark

4:49 pm on 13 October 2009

The former Wallabies skipper Stirling Mortlock and first five Matt Giteau insist there's no rift in the Wallabies squad over new leadership appointments.

Mortlock and Giteau have pledged 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 which has gone into camp ahead of their northern hemisphere tour are off the mark according to Giteau.

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

Giteau admits he's disappointed to have missed out on the vice captaincy but says he's fully supportive of the management structure.

Meanwhile Mortlock says he's confident in his fitness and was looking forward to forcing his way back into the starting XV, after sitting out the unsuccessful Tri Nations campaign with a knee injury.