Robbie Deans to re-start career in Japan
ESPN Staff
April 22, 2014
Deans was axed following the Wallabies failed 2-1 British & Irish Lions campaign © Getty Images

Former Australia coach Robbie Deans will re-start his coaching career in Japan after being announced as the new head coach for Panasonic Wild Knights.

Deans, who was sacked by the Australian Rugby Union last year following the Wallabies 2-1 defeat to the British & Irish Lions, has had a long relationship with the Wild Knights.

He has worked with the club as a technical assistant since his axing by the ARU and succeeds Norifumi Nakajima, who leaves the organisation after they won the Japanese Top League and All Japan Championship titles.

"I am very glad that I can continue the relationship this way," Deans said in a Japanese-language statement. "I have enjoyed building a strong team with Panasonic players, staff and officials and I enjoyed watching Panasonic play.

"I am looking forward to making the team better still in this fine environment this season. We want to move further ahead."

Deans will be surrounded by familiar names with Ash Jones, who worked under Deans at the Crusaders and the Wallabies, also on the Wild Knights staff. Austalia fly-half Berrick Barnes joined the club last year and Highlanders scrum-half Fumiaki Tanaka is also in the squad.

Deans was Australia head coach between 2008-13 and ran the Crusaders from 2000-2008. He was an assistant to All Blacks head coach John Mitchell between 2001-2003.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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