Deans feeling at home in Australia - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Deans feeling at home in Australia

By Darren Walton 04/12/2008 04:44:34 PM Comments (0)

He feels like a dinky di Aussie already, but that won't stop Robbie Deans heading home to New Zealand for some well-earned R & R after an intense first season as Wallabies coach.

Having clocked on at ARU headquarters less than two days after coaching the Crusaders to a fifth Super rugby title in May, Deans has just completed the Wallabies' busiest Test program on record - presiding over 14 internationals in less than six months followed by Wednesday night's European tour-ending clash with the Barbarians at Wembley Stadium.

"It's been fantastic," Deans said. "I feel like I'm part of the terrain now.

"They've been a great bunch to work with. From a personal perspective, it's just been great.

"I had an hour between the Super 14 final and arriving, but you wouldn't do it any other way. It's been everything that personally I anticipated it would be.

"And while it's been a long year and it's just come to an end, I really look forward with a lot of anticipation to next year already."

When he returns from across the Tasman in January, Deans will assist ARU high performance unit manager David Nucifora and has also offered his services to Australia's four Super 14 franchises.

Deans, though, has no desire to impose his Wallabies blueprint on the NSW Waratahs, Queensland Reds, ACT Brumbies or Western Force.

"We want the franchises to innovate and we want them to run their own campaigns and take ownership of their own campaigns. That's how you get development," he said.

"I will assist the franchises where I can, where they feel I can. It's a matter of responding. I've offered my services and if they see value in it, they'll ask and I'd be willing.

"But there's no way I'll be sticking my nose in where it's not requested."

The Barbarians match marked the end of Michael Foley's successful three-year tenure as the Wallabies' restart coach.

Foley, who will link with the Waratahs next Super 14 season, has indicated he would never turn down the chance to reunite with the Wallabies.

Deans said a decision on whether the 1999 World Cup-winning hooker may be retained in some capacity would be made after Christmas.

"But obviously he's still involved in Australian rugby. He'll still be working with a lot of the players," Deans said.

"In terms of the immediate management group, we'll resolve that in time. Even if Foles wasn't to be a part of that, he'd still be involved.

"In some way, we'd seek his counsel and he'd still get the opportunity to come along and throw his six cents worth in.

"You don't discard anyone with intimate knowledge.

"I'm going to have a break and when my brain starts firing I'll know I'm ready to start thinking about those things."

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