Sydney - Former Australian Test prop Ewen McKenzie was on Tuesday installed as
the new Wallabies coach, vowing to deliver consistent success, after
Robbie Deans quit following their series loss to the British and Irish
McKenzie, the Reds director of coaching who will
face his first Test against the world champion All Blacks in Sydney on
August 17, said he was humbled to get the nod ahead of Brumbies
mentor Jake White.
"To coach the Wallabies is a huge honour and
also a special opportunity to lead a team that I've enjoyed many great
experiences with in the past as both a player and coach," said the
48-year-old, who was capped 51 times by Australia.
"As a role at the highest level, it's one I aspire to because I truly believe I'm ready to make a difference on many levels."
a former All Black, quit earlier Tuesday after five years and 74 Tests
in charge following Saturday's humiliating 41-16 thrashing to lose the
British and Irish Lions series.
He had a mixed record with the Wallabies with a 58 percent success rate - winning 43 Tests, losing 29 and drawing two.
McKenzie said he was excited at the opportunity.
not a role without challenges but is also one that comes with great
opportunity and a chance to influence the current state of rugby both on
and off the field," he said.
"There are so many positives this
game brings, and by unifying all its parts and working efficiently, we
can create a culture and structure whereby the Wallabies are
consistently successful at the highest level in the biggest games."
Rugby Union chief Bill Pulver said that with Deans' contract due to
expire in December, an advisory group had been assessing potential
successors as the season progressed.
"Consideration was given to
leadership skills, discipline, coaching capability, coaching records,
and important factors such as character, values and style of play," he
"Having established the necessary criteria, and spoken to
the relevant people, we were convinced that Ewen was now the man to take
the Wallabies forward."
While congratulating McKenzie, Pulver
praised Deans for his "significant contribution to Australian rugby over
a long period of time".
Deans broke new ground when he was
appointed by becoming the first non-Australian to take charge, but the
writing was on the wall after the team's walloping by the Lions on
Saturday in what was deemed their most important match since the 2003
World Cup final.
"It has been a rewarding five years and I am proud of all that we have achieved," Deans said.
"Most especially I would like to thank the players for their efforts and wish them all the best going forward."
Saturday's loss to the Lions means he leaves without a defining moment in charge.
His high point remains the 2011 Tri Nations triumph in the weeks before the World Cup in New Zealand.
he is better remembered for overseeing shattering defeats to Scotland
(twice), Samoa at home, a 53-8 rout by South Africa in Johannesburg and
an ill-fated World Cup campaign in New Zealand two years ago, when the
Wallabies never recovered from a 15-6 mugging by Ireland in the group
McKenzie announced in March that he would quit the Reds at
the end of the Super Rugby season after joining them in 2009 and guiding
the franchise to a first Super 15 championship in 2011, as well as
back-to-back Australian conference titles.
Prior to the Reds, he
led the NSW Waratahs to two Super Rugby finals in 2005 and 2008 before
moving to France where he coached Stade Francais. He also worked as a
Wallaby selector and an assistant coach to both Rod Macqueen and Eddie
Jones at national level between 2000 and 2003.