Australian Rugby
Deans axed as Wallabies coach
ESPN Staff
July 8, 2013

Robbie Deans has been sacked as Wallabies coach with Reds boss Ewen McKenzie poised to take charge.

Robbie Deans' Wallabies highs and lows

The Australian Rugby Union on Tuesday confirmed that Robbie Deans has been released from the final six months of his contract in the wake of his side's series defeat to the British & Irish Lions. The ARU will announce Australia's new coach on Tuesday (AEST), with Ewen McKenzie expected to be appointed as the man tasked with guiding the Wallabies into the 2015 IRB Rugby World Cup.

The Australian reports that Australian Rugby Union chief executive Bill Pulver met with Deans on Monday (AEST) to inform him that his contract would be terminated with his failure to beat the Lions sealing the Kiwi coach's fate and prompting an end to his five-and-a-half year tenure.

McKenzie, a former Wallabies prop who helped them to the 1991 World Cup crown, looks to have seen off the challenge of ex-South Africa coach and current Brumbies boss Jake White to the appointment.

He served as an assistant to former Australia coaches Rod Macqueen and Eddie Jones before starting his own coaching career with the Waratahs in 2004. McKenzie made the switch to French side Stade Francais in 2008 before returning to Australia a season later to take charge of the Reds.

He steered to the Super Rugby title in 2011 but took a step back from a hands-on role earlier this year in order to pursue international coaching opportunities and was later linked with both the Ireland and Scotland jobs.

Deans was appointed as Wallabies coach after the 2007 World Cup having carved out a reputation as the most successful coach in Super Rugby history. Under his guidance, Australia won the Tri-Nations in 2011 for the first time in 10 years and climbed to second in the IRB world rankings.

They enjoyed more success against the No.1 ranked All Blacks than any other side during his time in charge - three wins and a draw - but crucially they lost to their old rivals in the 2011 World Cup semi-finals and also failed to break their grip on the Bledisloe Cup.

He was handed a two-year contract extension following the last World Cup and became the most capped Wallabies coach of all-time against France in Paris last November, but his run came to an end in Sydney on Saturday night. Deans' record in charge stands as played 74, won 43, lost 29 and drawn 2.

The Wallabies' next Test match is against the All Blacks in Sydney on August 17 in the first match of The Rugby Championship.

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