Moore – ‘Wallabies players not fit enough’

Stephen Moore

Wallabies captain Stephen Moore is concerned that Australia's Super Rugby teams have failed to produce players fit enough for Test rugby.

After a routine win over Fiji in their opening June international, they were brought crashing down to earth in a 24-19 loss to Scotland.

And on Saturday, they were given an almighty scare by an average Italian side. The Wallabies controlled the first half but faded badly in the second half due to a perceived lack of stamina which saw the Italians reduce to the deficit to one point at 28-27 with ten minutes to go.

However, the Wallabies' blushes were spared by late tries from Bernard Foley and Reece Hodge. And skipper Moore is under no illusion as to the rapid improvement the side needs to make if they are to avoid embarrassment in their next Test match, a Rugby Championship opener against the All Blacks in Sydney on August 19.

"It shouldn't be hard for Super Rugby to produce players that are ready for test match footy," Moore told Sport 24.

"I don't know what the issue is there, but we need to make sure the next two months or whatever it is … we can't waste a day.

"There is a gap between Super Rugby and test rugby, the intensity's up, but that doesn't mean we can't train like we have to play test footy."

Meanwhile, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has echoed Moore's statements, saying he needed to focus extra hard on fitness in his preparation and this might have tired out the players before the June internationals.

"If we didn't do it over these three weeks and start that, it'll be too late for later on," Cheika said.

"Maybe that's taken some of the edge off some of our performances because we've been going hard at it.

"We've got to work extra hard and we've got to be prepared to work even harder once we come out of Super Rugby for that little block to be ready, because at least the fitness base can let us be in the hunt.

"Then, from there, it'll be how good as footballers we are."