Moore bemoans Wallaby fitness levels

Stephen Moore (Getty)
Stephen Moore (Getty)

Cape Town - Wallabies captain Stephen Moore has criticised his team's fitness levels after they claimed a hard-fought 40-27 win over Italy in Brisbane on Saturday.

Although the scoreline suggests a comfortable win for Australia, that was not the case as they held a slender 28-27 lead late in the match, before late tries from Bernard Foley and Reece Hodge sealed their victory.

And Moore said his country's Super Rugby teams need to up the fitness intensity if the Wallabies want to impress in their Rugby Championship fixtures later this year.

"[We need to] continue to train at the intensity that we've been training at for the past three weeks," he said after the match. 

"It was clear when we came into camp that a lot of the Super Rugby teams aren't training at the intensity we need to be training [at] here.

"We need to try and drive that and the coaches have got planning around that, to do some extra stuff and get us to where we need to be. That's the long and the short of it.

"It shouldn't be hard for Super Rugby to produce players that are ready for Test match footy. I don't know what the issue is there. We need to make sure that the next two months... we can't waste a day.

"There naturally is a difference, there is a gap between Super Rugby and Test rugby. The intensity is up. But that doesn't mean that we can't train like we have to to play Test footy."

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika echoed his captain's sentiments and said his team's fitness will have to improve if they want to be competitive in their first Bledisloe Cup clash with New Zealand in Sydney on August 19.

"We'll be asking them [to up the fitness] over the next few weeks, for sure," said Cheika. 

"Because over a certain time, you need to acclimatise to a higher workload. If we didn't do it over these three weeks and start that, it would be too late later on.

"And yeah, maybe that has taken the edge off some of our performances, because we have been going hard at it. I don't think that's a risk, that's a necessity. We have to do that.

"And we've been doing it and yes, there will be the edge off the players a little bit. But to be at the edge we need to defeat New Zealand - and I know everyone is having a laugh at that at home when you report on this - but I believe that with that clear goal, we can do that."

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