NEWLY RE-APPOINTED Wallabies coach Robbie Deans never had any intention of signing with the New Zealand Rugby Union after the Rugby World Cup.
Deans, who was re-signed by the Australian Rugby Union until the end of the 2013 season, says he has invested too much time into Australian rugby when asked if he had considered holding out to see if the All Blacks job would become available after the RWC.
“Oh no, when you put as much time and energy into a group, the answer to that question is no,” he told reporters.
“I've invested a lot of time and energy with this young team and, just as they've committed and are evidently excited about the future, so am I.”
Some, like former Wallabies great Mark Ella, have questioned the wisdom of extending the transplanted Kiwi’s contract before the RWC.
But the ARU is convinced that Deans is the man for the job moving forward.
“The board is confident Robbie Deans remains the best man for the job, based on the seamless way he has reshaped the personnel and team culture of the Wallabies,” says ARU chairman Peter McGrath.
“We are second in the IRB (International Rugby Board) world rankings, up from five when Robbie took over, and we have a young team playing an exciting brand of rugby and moving in the right direction.”
The Wallabies have won 26 tests, drawn one and lost 20 since Deans took the reins in 2008.
Although that is only a 55 percent winning record, ARU chief executive John O’Neill believes the Wallabies have achieved some notable victories, including their first win at South African altitude in 47 years and breaking a 10-game losing streak against the All Blacks last year.
“The away record has certainly improved under Robbie and that was emphasised again on the weekend with a wonderful win over the Springboks (14-9 in Durban) despite the rigours of travel and a one week turnaround after playing the All Blacks in Auckland,” he says.
"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 (the Rugby World Cup) 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 3-1/2 years he has been in charge of the national team.”« Back to Articles
With the series level, expect both teams to put it all on the line as they seek to win the deciding test in Sydney on Saturday night.