30 Oct 2008

Deans tipped to name Mortlock opposite Carter

6:25 am on 30 October 2008

The Bledisloe Cup tip from the Wallabies camp in Hong Kong is that Robbie Deans will name Stirling Mortlock at second five, opposite Daniel Carter on Saturday night.

The All Blacks assistant coach Wayne Smith has conceded that one of their main reasons for naming Carter at second five was to give the All Blacks two playmaking inside backs to match the Wallabies Matt Gitteau and Berrick Barnes.

But in a potential selection masterstroke Deans is today tipped to name powerhouse skipper Mortlock to mark Carter, rather than recall Barnes who's expected to be eased back from a shoulder injury via the bench.

The All Blacks coach Graham Henry is reportedly agitated that the Wallabies team announcement has been delayed until today, two days after the All Blacks made public their lineup.