Sunday, December 9, 2007

Rugby Union-Will Deans coach Wallabies?

NZRU has reappointed Graham Henry as All Blacks coach for another two years. This is a rather surprising turn of events considering the bloodletting that ensued in the wake of the All Blacks failure at the World Cup.

Robbie Deans coach of the Crusaders was one of the favourites for the New Zealand position. He also won the New Zealand Rugby Coach of the year award in 2002. John Mitchell appointed Robbie Deans as his assistant when Mitchell became All Blacks coach in late 2001. Deans held the position until Mitchell was replaced after the 2003 Rugby World Cup. Under Mitchell and Deans the All Blacks won the 2002 and 2003 Tri-Nations titles, as well as the Bledisloe Cup in 2003. He has expressed a strong interest in coaching Australia.

The Australian Rugby Union’s manager Pat Howard has contacted him.The selection panel will interview Deans early this week. It is expected that the new coach will be chosen by next Friday. Other candidates include radio broadcaster Alan Jones, NSW coach Ewen McKenzie, Brumbies boss Laurie Fisher, Auckland's David Nucifora and Wallabies assistant coach John Muggleton .

If Deans is chosen he will become the first non-Australian to coach the Wallabies and will continue to coach the Crusaders in next year's Super 14 competition before turning his attention to the Wallabies.

Deans was a fine full back and won five All Black caps. He is regarded as a superb coach. There has been some criticism within Australia of the decision to interview him. At this juncture he appears to be the favourite to secure the position.

No comments: