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Deans non-committal about future

By Darren Walton 19/05/2010 01:54:13 PM Comments (0)

Robbie Deans isn't ruling out staying on as Wallabies coach beyond the 2011 Rugby World Cup despite being a frontline contender to return to New Zealand and take charge of the All Blacks.

A former All Blacks assistant coach, Deans was deemed desperately unlucky to have been overlooked for the top job after New Zealand crashed to tournament hosts France in the quarter-finals of the 2007 World Cup.

After Graham Henry controversially retained his position as New Zealand's head coach, ARU boss John O'Neill swooped to snare Deans on a four-season deal with the Wallabies.

But still revered in his homeland after helping the Crusaders to seven Super rugby titles, Deans remains the obvious choice to guide the All Blacks after next year's global showpiece in New Zealand.

The 50-year-old Christchurch legend, though, was typically non-committal when asked on Wednesday for his thoughts on former All Blacks halfback and Rhodes scholar Chris Laidlaw's assertion in his new book Somebody Stole My Game that "Robbie Deans is the All Blacks coach in waiting post 2011".

"I don't have any (thoughts), to be frank," Deans said.

"I've always lived life day to day, and year to year, campaign to campaign.

"In this game, that's the only way you can approach it. You just don't know what's around the corner.

"The key is to make the most of what you do in the moment when you're in it and worry about the rest later."

The famously diplomatic coach - who played five Tests for the All Blacks from 1983-85 - was then asked if he'd ruled out remaining in Australia for another coaching stint with the Wallabies.

"Oh, hell no," he said.

"But it's not relevant. The only thing that's relevant is what we do and I hope we perform to the extent where that becomes an option."

Deans will name a 40-man squad for the Wallabies's inbound Tests against Fiji, England and Ireland, plus two mid-week games against the Barbarians after the NSW Waratahs - Australia's last remaining survivors - complete their Super 14 involvement.

The Waratahs take on South Africa's Stormers in a sudden-death semi-final in Cape Town early on Sunday AEST, with the title decider scheduled for next weekend.

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