As senior team members attempted to persuade the public all was well in the Wallabies camp yesterday, coach Robbie Deans brought them back to reality by insisting that there was nothing wrong with a bit of tension in the ranks.There were plenty of sideways glances and shuffling of feet when Deans and two players, Stirling Mortlock and Matt Giteau – each upset at either losing the captaincy or not being considered for a leadership role – fronted the media as the Wallabies went into camp in Sydney yesterday.The body language gave it away. Giteau was edgy. Mortlock was more relaxed, and Deans was trying to put a lid on it all by making the right sounds. Even if the smoke billowing from the peace pipe was stifling, it wasn’t exactly hugs and kisses all round.Still, the message got through that, though the players had been disappointed over a number of issues, including Giteau and Berrick Barnes switching places in the back line, with a five-Test northern hemisphere tour looming, it was time to move on. Group photographs of the trio at the end of the media conference were an indication that the healing process was about to begin.Deans did not seem overly upset that so much dirty linen – including that his relationship with Giteau has become somewhat frayed – has been aired in recent days. Like many coaches used to success, Deans prefers to see his players on edge, especially those who have recently become too accustomed to losing.”I hope there is some [tension] , because there is going to be in terms of the challenge we are going into,” Deans said. ”In any squad there are dynamics, chemistry, emotion – and that’s just par for the course. The reality for us is that we cannot stay in our current comfort zone and also achieve. So we’re all going to be tested and taken out of our comfort zone over the next month. It’s going to be great.”Also, the good thing now is that we are getting leadership across the group. We have a couple of past captains in the team in George [Smith] and Stirling. We have Matt [Giteau] who is in a leadership role anyway, because he drives the game for us essentially. We have Berrick now who has responsibilities beyond just playing. That’s what we are chasing and seeking.”Deans added that, despite Mortlock stating he wasn’t officially told he was about to lose the Test captaincy to Rocky Elsom, ”Stirling was under no illusions that there was going to be a change of captaincy.”Mortlock indicated yesterday the confusion might have been his fault. ”There was a slight misunderstanding on my behalf from the communications that myself and Robbie had,” he said.He added that even though he was ”really keen” to continue as Wallabies captain, he ”totally understood the logic and reasoning behind selecting a new captain in Rocky, and building from here to the 2011 World Cup. He [Elsom] is a natural leader, and it is the right way forward for this group.”Giteau revealed some of his feelings when he revealed he had been eyeing a promotion by at least being offered the vice-captaincy ahead of Barnes. ”I was a little disappointed, because if you talk to any player within the squad, at some point they would like some kind of leadership role,” Giteau said. ”From that point of view, I was disappointed – but I am fully supportive of the guys, the coach and [ARU chief executive] John O’Neill have appointed.”Everyone has a lot of respect for Rocky. I’m happy for Rocky that he has got his opportunity. He is less of a talker and more of a leader. He has said before that he leads with his action. And that’s what I’m sure he will do.”And to the question of him losing his No.10 spot to Barnes. Did Giteau still want to control the back line?”It depends on how we are going to play … that is something we have to sit down and work out,” Giteau replied. ”We’ll just have to wait and see.”
Nanjing Night Net

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