Deans impresses on and off the pitch - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Deans impresses on and off the pitch

By Adrian Warren 04/06/2008 07:33:34 PM Comments (0)

He hails from New Zealand, but new Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is already convincing his new charges of his passion and commitment to Australian rugby.

While Deans has impressed the Wallabies with his rugby knowledge, it is some of the non-rugby areas where he has made an instant impression.

"When we were in a team meeting yesterday, he announced how proud he was to be here," Wallabies back Adam Ashley-Cooper told AAP on Wednesday.

"You kind of hear how the Kiwis hold the Australian rugby team in such high regard as we do the Kiwis.

"For him and some of his staff to be over here representing us is a very, very proud moment for them. That was pretty good to hear and pretty nice to hear.

"You can tell that he's obviously a very passionate coach and he's all about playing with emotion and bringing the most out of the character."

Lock Nathan Sharpe, who has played under two previous Wallabies coaches, said Deans was very different to his predecessors.

"The one thing about Robbie is he's a very relaxed guy," Sharpe said.

"He's got a lot of things he thinks about, he doesn't force that intensity on people.

"I think, from what I can gather already, what he wants people to do is just to soak it up as we go along and he's not going to force it on people, he will let people actually pick it up in their own time.

"It's a very different atmosphere than I'm sure a lot of guys have been used to, but it's one that I think guys are going to learn well and react well to."

Reds winger Digby Ioane was also impressed by his initial dealings with Deans.

"He's an awesome bloke, training yesterday and today, his knowledge is just great, it's going to be good for Australia."

Ioane admitted to being surprised at his selection in the squad after injury and two suspensions limited him to just four Super starts and seven appearances overall.

"Thing happen for a reason, so it's just great to be here and hopefully I will get games under my belt," Ioane said.

Melbourne-raised Ioane would be assured of a huge personal following if selected in the Australian team for their season-opening Test against Ireland at Telstra Dome on Saturday week.

The youngest of 10 siblings, in a family based in Dandenong, Ioane said up to 100 relatives turned out to watch him play for the Melbourne Rebels ARC team last year.

Ashley-Cooper pointed to the progress several Crusaders backs have made under Deans.

"(Daniel) Carter, (Leon) MacDonald, (Casey) Laulala and (Rico) Gear - just to name a few and you look at how they've developed through their careers, sensational players and hopefully we can get a lot out of that," Ashley-Cooper said.

Brumbies utility Ashley-Cooper said he regarded that tag now as a blessing more than a curse and wasn't fussed over what position he might play, though he noted he had spent most of his time this season on the right wing.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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