Deans commits to Wallabies
August 16, 2011
Deans will hope to steal the William Webb Ellis Cup from under his country of birth nose's come the World Cup © Getty Images
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has signed a new contract with the Australian Rugby Union taking him up to the end of the 2013 season.
Speculation has been rife for the last few months that Deans would commit to the ARU and the organisation has moved swiftly to tie its man down prior to the forthcoming World Cup. Despite the recent high profile loss to Samoa, Deans has overseen a Wallabies win at altitude in South Africa for the first time in 47 years and a record breaking win in France during his tenure. Fans of the Wallabies will also remember with fondness their last minute win over the All Blacks in Hong Kong back in October 2010.
Deans was a contender for the All Blacks job in the aftermath of the 2007 World Cup but the New Zealand Rugby Union opted to keep current coach Graham Henry in the role. And the new deal for Deans puts to bed any hope of the NZRU luring Deans back over the Tasman to replace Henry if the current All Blacks coach opts to retire following the World Cup.
Deans, although pleased to have signed the new deal, admitted he is solely focussed on the finishing the Tri-Nations on a high note. "I'm pleased to have gained the backing of the Board," he said. "A large number of players have re-committed to Australian Rugby this year, I'm pleased to be joining them.
"My priority remains, as it has always been, on the preparations both for the final Tri-Nations Series Test against the All Blacks in Brisbane, and then for the Rugby World Cup that follows in New Zealand."
And ARU CEO John O'Neill expressed his delight at the Wallabies' improved form since Deans took the helm. "The away record has certainly improved under Robbie and that was emphasised again on the weekend with a wonderful win over the Springboks despite the rigours of travel and a one week turnaround after playing the All Blacks in Auckland," O'Neill said.
"We are still working towards where we want to be in terms of overall winning percentages and the collection of major silverware. However, the win on the weekend keeps us in the hunt at this stage for the Tri Nations title this season and the game's ultimate prize will be decided in New Zealand over September-October.
"There is no doubt Robbie has earmarked and brought through a new generation of Wallabies stars and we have certainly not stood still over the three and a half years he has been in charge of the national team.
"I look forward to him making an even more lasting impression on Australian Rugby over the next two seasons."
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