20 Sep 2008

Mortlock wants Wallabies mentally tougher

8:11 am on 20 September 2008

The Wallabies rugby captain Stirling Mortlock says Australia must improve its skills under pressure during the demanding Spring tour of Hong Kong and Europe.

Mortlock believes a lack of composure under pressure cost them dearly when New Zealand retained the Bledisloe cup with a come-from-behind 28-24 victory in Brisbane last weekend.

He says to play an up-tempo, up-skilled game you really need to have improvement in core skills and execution under pressure and under fatigue.

Mortlock says even though the Bledisloe Cup has been decided, there will be no lack of passion in the match against New Zealand in Hong Kong on November 1.

The veteran centre says the six-week break would give the players a chance to freshen up and hopefully move to a new level for a tour that includes internationals against New Zealand, Italy, England, France, Wales and the Barbarians in the space of less than five weeks.

A squad of 33 will be named next Tuesday.