Deans set to extend contract

2011-05-07 08:33
Robbie Deans

Sydney - The Australian Rugby Union will move to tie up Robbie Deans as Wallabies' coach for a few more years, ARU chief executive John O'Neill said on Saturday.

The New Zealander has been in charge of the Wallabies since 2008 and said he would be prepared to sit down with the ARU to talk about his future beyond the September-October World Cup in New Zealand.

O'Neill said he was hopeful of agreeing to a contract extension with Deans for at least another two years taking in the British and Irish Lions' tour of Australia in 2013.

"I am a great fan of Robbie's and I'm publicly on the record that we've got unfinished business and, whilst we haven't had formal discussions yet, we've had informal deliberations and in the next couple of months we will get to a point of resolution," O'Neill told reporters.

"Robbie is certainly keen to stay on for the same reason - unfinished business. We've got a lot of players that we've re-signed and a lot of very positive announcements came out of their mouths that the best is yet to come."

Deans said his first three years as the Wallabies' first-ever non-Australian coach had been everything he expected and more.

"It's been fantastic but it's far from done yet," he said.

"I've really enjoyed my work here, really enjoyed the group. More importantly, it's great to see en masse the players recommitting beyond the World Cup.

"That's an indication that they're excited about the future and that they're prepared to stick around and work towards that.

"Personally, 2011 is a big priority and I'm not looking beyond that, but I have enjoyed what I've done and I believe I've got a lot more to offer yet.

"If John wants to sit down and talk about beyond the World Cup, I'd be prepared to do that."

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