Rugby Rugby

Wallabies extend coach Deans deal


SYDNEY, Australia, August 16- The Australian Rugby Board threw its support behind Wallabies coach Robbie Deans just ahead of the World Cup by extending his contract for another two years.

Coming on the back of Australia’s hard-fought 14-9 Tri-Nations win over South Africa in Durban, the move gives them stability heading into the global showpiece tournament in New Zealand starting next month.

Deans was initially handed the job for a four-year term from 2008 to the end of 2011, and under his new deal will remain in charge until 2013.

“The Board is confident Robbie Deans remains the best man for the job, based on the seamless way he has reshaped the personnel and team culture of the Wallabies,” said ARU chairman Peter McGrath, on Tuesday.

“We are second in the world rankings, up from five when Robbie took over, and we have a young team playing an exciting brand of rugby and moving in the right direction.”

ARU chief executive John O’Neill added that the Wallabies under Deans had produced some breakthrough results in recent seasons.

“The away record has certainly improved under Robbie and that was emphasised again on the weekend with a wonderful win over the Springboks despite the rigours of travel and a one-week turnaround after playing the All Blacks in Auckland,” he said.

“We are still working towards where we want to be in terms of overall winning percentages and the collection of major silverware.

“However, the win on the weekend keeps us in the hunt at this stage for the Tri-Nations title this season and the game’s ultimate prize will be decided in New Zealand over September-October.”