Deans ready to re-sign with Wallabies
May 4, 2011
Robbie Deans is set to re-sign with the Wallabies © Getty Images
Robbie Deans has expressed his desire to continue as Australia coach beyond this year's Rugby World Cup and is set to begin formal negotiations with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) in the coming weeks.
Deans' current contract expires after the tournament in his native New Zealand, but both he and ARU chief John O'Neill are eager to finalise an extension that would see the former All Black lead the Wallabies through to the British & Irish Lions' tour of Australia in 2013.
Informal discussions between Deans and the ARU have taken place and O'Neill is eager to step up negations to secure the coach's future prior to Australia's first Test of the year against Samoa in Sydney on July 17. While he is focused on the coming season and the World Cup, Deans is excited about the future with a number of young players making their mark on the international stage.
"Personally, 2011 is a big priority and I'm not looking beyond that, but I have enjoyed what I've done and I believe I've got a lot more to offer yet," he told AAP. "If John wants to sit down and talk about beyond the World Cup, I'd be prepared to do that.
"It's [his reign] had elements of everything, as this game tends to. It's been fantastic but it's far from done yet. I've really enjoyed my work here, really enjoyed the group. More importantly, it's great to see en masse the players recommitting beyond the World Cup. That's an indication that they're excited about the future and that they're prepared to stick around and work towards that."
Although Australia have not won a Bledisloe Cup since 2002 or a Tri Nations since 2001, O'Neill is happy with the progress the Wallabies have made under Deans, who has helped them rise to second in the world rankings.
"Like player contracting, it's best to get these things out of the way so they don't become a distraction," O'Neill said. "I am a great fan of Robbie's and I'm publicly on the record that we've got unfinished business and, whilst we haven't had formal discussions yet, we've had informal deliberations and in the next couple of months we will get to a point of resolution.
"Robbie is certainly keen to stay on for the same reason - unfinished business. We've got a lot of players that we've re-signed and a lot of very positive announcements came out of their mouths that the best is yet to come. So I'm looking forward to the next several years of being a particularly successful period for the game [in Australia]."
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