Aussie wrap (Fri) brings you the latest news form Australia’s Super 14 franchises.

Tahu top of his class

Timana Tahu was one of the top performers in the NSW Waratah’s recent written test of secret plays.

The rugby league man was one of only four Waratah’s players to score 12 out of 13 in a exam posed by NSW assistant coach Scott Wisemantel which looked to test the players knowledge of game plans and set plays.

Tahu, who only crossed codes just over a year ago, knew little of the intricacies of rugby union, but a year down the line the utility back has become an excellent student of the game according to Waratahs head coach Chris Hickey.

“He has a much better understanding of it 12 months down the track,” said Hickey. “That score in the knowledge test was pretty good given that he had limited exposure to the back line due to his rehabilitation program. That indicates he is developing a good understanding of the game.”

When asked about the results of the test, Tahu said: “I did pretty well. It was a test for ‘Wisey’ [Wisemantel] to see if everyone was on the same page, to see if any person was not studying.

“A year ago it would have all been another language. I wouldn’t have known what is going on. But this time round, I know how the game is played, and as for the knowledge factor, I am up to scratch with it.”

Deans backs Mortlock decision

Robbie Deans says Stirling Mortlock’s decision to step down as Brumbies captain will not affect his chances of retaining the Wallabies captaincy.

“We’ll contemplate every aspect of our program every year and the captaincy will certainly be involved in that,” Deans told The Canberra times.

“There’s no guarantees, so to speak, but in terms of the decision that’s been made by the Brumbies pertaining to Stirling and him no longer staying on as captain there, that will have absolutely no bearing whatsoever on what we do or choose to do at the Wallabies.”

Deans described Mortlock as a ‘true leader’ and believes he will still adopt a senior role at the franchise despite stepping down as skipper.

“Stirling understands leadership and understands it has nothing to do with a title so to speak, or having an extra letter beside your name in the team sheet, it’s about what you do,” said Deans.

“He’ll continue to be a leader with the Brumbies and continue to be a very influential person within the club.

“I found him to be a great captain, I really enjoyed working with him at the Wallabies and I hope to work with him for many years to come in a leadership role.”