Rugby: Stirling Mortlock rubbishes Steve Hansen's claims Australia are Bledisloe favourites

Stirling Mortlock.
Stirling Mortlock. Photo credit: Getty

Former Wallabies centre Stirling Mortlock has rubbished Steve Hansen's suggestion that the Wallabies hold the edge over the All Blacks.

Coach Hansen pointed to the Wallabies' 23-18 win in last year’s Brisbane test  as evidence Australia were on the rise and primed to challenge New Zealand's Bledisloe dominance.

"We lost to Australia the last time we played them, so no doubt they'll have a lot of self-confidence and are worthy of starting as favourites," said Hansen, after naming a powerful All Blacks squad.

Steve Hansen
Steve Hansen Photo credit: Getty

Mortlock isn't buying Hansen's claims, insisting the shrewd 59-year-old is playing mind games.

"It's a load of tripe," Mortlock said on Tuesday. "If you want to break it down logically, look at how dominant New Zealand has been.

“You can go back as far as you want," What has it been, 16 years?

“Or you can say just the last few years. Either way, New Zealand's dominance has been outstanding, not just against Australia but on a global stage.

“Then, do you want to isolate this year? They've won another Super Rugby title and most of their Super Rugby sides are performing quite well.

“They're in a great situation where they could choose probably two All Black teams and they'd still be a force to be reckoned with.

"There's been a lot of pleasing signs for Australia this year, so I'm not going to just write us off, but I think it's pretty laughable that Steve could put it out there and claim that they're underdogs."

The All Blacks have only lost two of the last 19 Bledisloe Cup tests, as their hold on the trans-Tasman trophy enters its 16th year.