Deans to take Wallabies to Christchurch - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Deans to take Wallabies to Christchurch

08/10/2009 08:27:09 PM Comments (0)

Robbie Deans will lead the Wallabies to his hometown of Christchurch for the first time during next year's Tri-Nations series.

New Zealander Deans, who has coached Australia in three Tests against the All Blacks in his homeland, spent nine seasons at the helm of Christchurch-based Super 14 outfit the Crusaders, making his name with five titles.

He is yet to win a match with the Wallabies in NZ, after two losses in Auckland and one in Wellington during his two years in charge.

Deans has presided over only one Test victory against the All Blacks, in Sydney last year, in seven attempts.

He has a large personal following in Christchurch following his success with Canterbury in the NZ provincial competition and the Crusaders in Super rugby, to the extent that press in the country suggested many in the south island city would barrack for Deans' Wallabies over Graham Henry's All Blacks when the Australian coach first returned home.

Meanwhile, the Wallabies will also go head to head with the NRL finals in a Bledisloe clash in Sydney.

Australia's third match against the All Blacks will be played at ANZ Stadium on September 11, meaning they face the prospect of fighting for publicity during the height of rugby league finals fever, possibly having already lost the Bledisloe Cup.

The Wallabies open a challenging Tri-Nations campaign on home soil, playing world champions South Africa at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on July 24.

A week later, Australia will face the All Blacks at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, their fourth Bledisloe Cup match in the Victorian capital since 1997.

The Wallabies will play back-to-back games against the Springboks in South Africa, both at altitude, in Pretoria on August 28 and Bloemfontein on September 4.

Australia have won only two of 17 matches played at the high veldt venues of Johannesburg, Pretoria and Bloemfontein, the last in 1963.

Deans said the schedule offered a significant degree of difficulty but also opportunity.

"It's challenging in some ways but it will be what we make of it at the time," Deans said in a statement.

"There is no point in sweating the small stuff.

"You go with what you're given and you make the most of it, and this group will be aiming to do something special."

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