Wallabies coach Robbie Deans re- signed with the Australian Rugby Union through 2013.
Deans, whose contract was due to expire at the end of 2011, agreed to terms after the governing body’s board instructed Chief Executive Officer John O’Neill to negotiate an extension with the New Zealander, the ARU said.
“Robbie has earmarked and brought through a new generation of Wallabies stars and we have certainly not stood still over the three and a half years he has been in charge,” O’Neill said in an e-mailed statement. “I look forward to him making an even more lasting impression on Australian rugby.”
Deans’s reappointment comes 27 days before Australia opens its bid for an unprecedented third Rugby World Cup title against Italy in Auckland. The Wallabies are scheduled to host the British and Irish Lions in 2013 and are also set to compete in an expanded four-team southern hemisphere championship next year with the addition of Argentina to the Tri-Nations.
Deans, 51, was hired as Australia’s first non-native coach in 2008 after guiding New Zealand’s Crusaders to four Super Rugby titles. The Sydney-based ARU had already re-signed about 20 Test players this year as it seeks to retain its best talent beyond the Sept. 9-Oct. 23 World Cup in New Zealand.
“A large number of players have recommitted to Australian rugby this year,” said Deans, who will name his 30-man World Cup squad in two days. “I’m pleased to be joining them.”
Australia, which beat South Africa 14-9 three days ago to join New Zealand atop the Tri-Nations standings, is currently the No. 2 team in the International Rugby Board’s rankings. The Wallabies have so far under Deans failed to add to their two Tri-Nations titles and regain the Bledisloe Cup from top-ranked New Zealand.
Deans remains the “best man for the job” because of the “seamless way” he has reshaped the team’s personnel and culture, said ARU Chairman Peter McGrath.
“We have a young team playing an exciting brand of rugby and moving in the right direction,” McGrath said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Baynes in Sydney at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at firstname.lastname@example.org