Australian rugby union player Stephen Moore takes part in a training session in Sydney.
Australian rugby union player Stephen Moore takes part in a training session in Sydney. PAUL MILLER

Folau says Moore still has team's respect

WALLABIES captain Stephen Moore still has the backing of his team despite his deteriorating relationship with referees.

Critics have questioned Moore's on-field leadership since Australia's latest Bledisloe Cup capitulation to New Zealand.

After the second Test coach Michael Cheika savaged referee Romain Poite for ignoring Moore, who wanted explanation of some of Poite's decisions.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen suggested that was because of Moore's attitude.

The 33-year-old has also struggled with his lineout throws, with the Wallabies winning just 69% of lineouts in Sydney and Wellington, compared with the All Blacks' faultless record.

Israel Folau still believes his captain is the right man for the job.

"Steve's a great leader for us. Everyone respects him in the team," Folau said.

"After the loss in Wellington he was quite upbeat and positive in the change room and making sure everyone's trying to stay positive.

"He's certainly well respected amongst the group."

Folau also defended Cheika after Australia's 14th straight Bledisloe Cup series defeat.

"Cheik is the type of person who'll take the full blame but we know as players, a lot of that is coming back on us as well," he said.

"We've got to take a fair bit of responsibility there, to take the initiative and try and turn things around."


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