Rugby World Cup 2011

Deans unaware of milestone

2011-09-15 11:03
Robbie Deans (File)

Auckland - It caught Robbie Deans unaware but Saturday's key World Cup match with Ireland will be his 50th as Wallaby coach.

Australian rugby's first foreign coach has rebuilt the Wallabies into Tri-Nations champions and world rugby's second-ranked team behind the All Blacks, with an improving chance of reaching the World Cup final on October 23.

"It's great. I wasn't actually aware of it until it was pointed out to me," Deans said on Thursday. "That's the nature of this game, you just keep going and it's great to be in the game at this level.

"It's a privilege that I certainly don't take for granted and I am enjoying it and looking forward to Saturday."

New Zealander Deans, 52, who was appointed in 2008, will become the third coach to preside over the Wallabies for 50 Tests.

Bob Dwyer, the 1991 World Cup-winning mentor, ran the Wallabies for 67 Tests in two stints, while Eddie Jones was in charge for 57 Tests.

Deans took up the position midway through 2008 having just won his fifth Super Rugby title with the Canterbury Crusaders.

He inherited a Wallabies side in turmoil following their shock quarter-final exit against England at the 2007 World Cup in Marseille with Australia’s world ranking dipping to an all-time low of five.

Deans's Test record currently stands at 28 wins, 20 losses and one draw.

Of the 49 Tests, 25 were against southern hemisphere rivals, New Zealand and South Africa, recording 10 wins and 15 losses.


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2011-10-26 16:45

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Taking into account where it will be held, the likely player retirements and new coaches in charge, which team looks best-placed to mount a challenge to the All Blacks at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England?


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