Derby 'to decide' Wallabies job
Brisbane - The Australian press have billed the derby game between the Reds and the Brumbies as a square-off for the Wallabies coaching role.
According to Rugby Heaven's website
, when Ewen McKenzie's Reds take on Jake White's Brumbies, there will be more at stake than just a place at the top of the Australian Super Rugby Conference - the result could well decide who will be the next coach of the Wallabies.
New Zealander Robbie Deans, the current Wallaby coach, has come under criticism in the past for his teams' inability to defeat trans-Tasman rivals the All Blacks and for his failures to reclaim the Bledisloe Cup and at the 2011 World Cup.
Deans drew fire last year after Quade Cooper's described the environment of the Wallabies' camp as 'toxic'
, a statement which could have fueled bad blood between the pair.
Deans neglected to pick the in-form Quade Cooper for his preliminary squad for the British and Irish Lions tour, leading former Wallabies fullback Greg Martin to suggest Robbie Deans wanted to 'sabotage'
Australian rugby and that the coach could be a 'trojan horse' placed there by New Zealand to ruin the game in Australia.
Reports suggest that the embattled Deans will be sacked if the Wallabies fail to perform well in the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia, and that Ewen McKenzie and Jake White are the two front-runners to succeed him as Wallabies coach.
The head-to-head record between the two Super Rugby coaches is very close with Ewen McKenzie's Reds having won two out of three games against Jake White's Brumbies.
The Reds beat the Brumbies twice in 2012, defeating them 20-13 in Brisbane and 13-12 in Canberra, however Jake White's Brumbies showed strong form to overpower the Reds 24-6 at home in the first game of the 2013 season.
McKenzie suggested that the stakes were high for the players and that the teams were charged up for the upcoming clash:
"We've got a lot of thoughts about what we need to do, there's a lot of
detail in this game. We want to make sure it's not ever-complicated but
you can just sense there's an edge, an emotional element, there's no
doubt about that," McKenzie said.
Meanwhile, Jake White stepped up the mind-games by claiming his Brumbies were the underdogs, despite having only lost one game this season.
The Reds are currently two points behind the Brumbies on the Super Rugby log and a win for either team could go some way to determining who will finish top of the Australian Conference.
The Reds will face the log-leading Brumbies on Saturday, April 20 at 11:40 (SA time) in Brisbane.