Oz missing 'World XV players'

2012-09-17 07:47
Sydney - Australian Rugby Union chief executive John O'Neill has replied to some quarters who feel that Robbie Deans is not the man to coach the Wallabies, saying that the injury toll was a big factor in the team's 2012 run.

According to the allblacks.com website, Deans has won 38 from 64 Tests in charge of Australia, just under 60 percent, and three losses this year to Scotland and the All Blacks have taken attention away from a solid record.

Home wins in The Investec Rugby Championship against the Springboks and Pumas have followed on from a 3-0 whitewash of Six Nations champions Wales.

O'Neill felt that the loss of captain after captain only accentuated what has been a difficult season in terms of the Wallabies putting their best team on the park.

"It's not just the quantity of the injuries, but the quality," he said.

"Name a team anywhere in the world that has lost three captains in one season and the X-factor players that were such a formidable part of our renaissance last year (when the Reds won Super Rugby and the Wallabies the Tri-Nations).

"Quade Cooper has just come back from injury, James O'Connor is out injured and Kurtley Beale is struggling for form after being injured.

"We haven't lost foot soldiers, we've lost World XV players and lost them in numbers."

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