2 Aug 2008

Mortlock under pressure

6:18 am on 2 August 2008

Returning Wallabies skipper Stirling Mortlock is feeling the heat after league convert Ryan Cross played a starring role in Australia's win during last weekend's Bledisloe Cup opener in Sydney.

Former Sydney Rooster Cross replaced his captain, who sat out Australia's 34-19 victory with concussion, and scored the first of the Wallabies' four tries in his run-on debut.

Ahead of tonight's return Cup game in Auckland Mortlock has admitted he doesn't consider his own selection at outside centre a fait accompli.

If Cross' presence isn't enough, rapidly improving former Kangaroo superstar Timana Tahu, who briefly became a dual international last weekend off the Wallabies bench, is breathing down both players' necks.

Mortlock says the situation was symptomatic of the Wallabies' confident mindset after five wins since Robbie Deans took the helm in June.