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Deans hails rise of young Wallabies

30/11/2010 11:12:20 AM Comments (0)

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans hailed the emergence of four rising young stars and says Australia is on the right track going toward next year's rugby World Cup.

Deans and some of his players returned on Monday from the seven-match spring tour of the northern hemisphere which yielded five wins and two losses.

Australia won four of their five Tests, losing only to England and finishing with a record-breaking 59-16 victory over Six Nations champions France on Saturday.

Deans said the tour would provide great background for next year's World Cup campaign in New Zealand.

The coach saluted the efforts of IRB player of the year nominees flanker David Pocock and fullback Kurtley Beale as well as fellow youngsters James O'Connor and James Slipper.

"There's no doubt some of the guys who we exposed to rugby at this level for the first time, there's three really obvious ones, two have just been nominated for IRB player of the year in Pocock and Beale," said Deans.

"It was effectively their first full season. James O'Connor on the weekend stepped up to the goalkicking duties, but he also cleared the ball and defended with a real purpose beyond his 20 years.

"Another bloke who responded to everything that has been put on him is James Slipper."

While Australia managed to beat all of the other world top five ranked teams in 2010, Deans felt those results bore little relevance in terms of their World Cup prospects.

Asked if he was more confident about Australia's chances at the World Cup following the tour, Deans said: "We are heading in the right direction."

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