Ella questions ARU decision to sign Deans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ella questions ARU decision to sign Deans

By Russell Jackson 16/08/2011 07:01:12 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies great Mark Ella has questioned the Australian Rugby Union's decision to re-sign coach Robbie Deans for two more years before the upcoming World Cup.

Deans was initially installed in the role for a four-year term from 2008 through to the end of the current World Cup season and, under his new deal, he will remain until after the 2013 tour by the British and Irish Lions.

"I'm not surprised ... it's been rumoured for months now that John O'Neill (ARU CEO) wanted to sign Robbie Deans up before the World Cup," Ella said.

"I think Robbie's a great coach. He's one of the best in the world.

"[But] I would have preferred if the ARU had probably waited until after the World Cup.

"I'm not saying Robbie doesn't deserve to be coach ... I'm not saying that at all but, normally, you get rewarded on success.

"The ARU wanted Robbie Deans and, God bless them, they've got him which is fine. They've got the man they wanted and that's great."

Ella doesn't think the ARU's move will result in Queensland Reds Super Rugby-winning coach Ewen McKenzie becoming disenchanted and looking elsewhere for an international gig.

"I don't think so. I think Ewen was aware of what was going on. I think he's signed his contract with the QRU for another two years and I think there's obviously been some discussion and Robbie will hang around until after the Lions and, whether he stays on, will depend on his success," he said.

"But it looks like it's been constructed for there to be a handover in 2014. That's only my theory."

The World Cup has long been cited as Deans' main goal as he rebuilt the Wallabies squad and the re-signing is a show of confidence, given the results are yet to be seen.

Deans said he was looking forward to continuing with the Wallabies beyond 2011.

"I'm pleased to have gained the backing of the board," he said in an ARU statement.

"A large number of players have re-committed to Australian Rugby this year. I'm pleased to be joining them.

"My priority remains, as it has always been, on the preparations both for the final Tri Nations Series Test against the All Blacks in Brisbane, and then for the Rugby World Cup that follows in New Zealand."

Wallabies 1991 World Cu- winning coach Bob Dwyer reserved judgment over the ARU's decision to appoint Deans before rugby's showpiece event which kicks off in New Zealand next month.

"I'm not really close enough to the team or the situation to know. But in the period he's been there, he's certainly been present while a lot of really good players have developed. He has to be given some credit for that," Dwyer said

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