x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Mortlock confident for future

The captain Stirling Mortlock is confident that Australia's tour to Hong Kong and Europe will be the catalyst for greater improvement heading towards the 2011 World Cup.

The captain Stirling Mortlock is confident that Australia's tour to Hong Kong and Europe will be the catalyst for greater improvement heading towards the 2011 World Cup. Australia finished the six-match trip with four wins (against Italy, England, France and the Barbarians) and two losses (to New Zealand and Wales) while blooding several new faces.

Mortlock believes his squad is on the right track three years away from the World Cup in New Zealand after several years of under-achievement. "You'd always love to go away and come back undefeated but having said that the growth and development of guys on tour was outstanding," he said. "There's been growth across the board. The set piece has been good, the skill level has improved and with that the belief and confidence is coming. It's a beginning - there's a lot more growth in us and that's the exciting part.

"We've got to continue in the direction that we're heading. "I would say we are fully aware we've got a lot of improvement left in us and we're excited about the opportunity the next year or two has in store for us." Mortlock lauded the impact of Robbie Deans, who became the first foreign coach of the Wallabies in June. "He's brought a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of positivity and a lot of belief and that's flowed directly into the team," said the centre.

"He is as excited as the group is about where we're looking to head in the future. "Now we can put our feet up knowing full well that we've put in a decent year. It's a great start but we're excited to where we're going to go to next year." * PA Sport