Australian Rugby Union has today announced the extension of Robbie Deans’ contract as Qantas Wallabies coach for a further two years.
The ARU Board recently instructed Managing Director and CEO John O’Neill to open negotiations with Deans to continue his tenure and the terms of that deal have now been finalised.
Deans was initially installed in the role for a four-year term from 2008 to the end of 2011, and under his new deal will remain as Head Coach until 2013.
“The Board is confident Robbie Deans remains the best man for the job, based on the seamless way he has reshaped the personnel and team culture of the Qantas Wallabies,” said ARU Chairman Peter McGrath.
“We are second in the IRB world rankings, up from five when Robbie took over, and we have a young team playing an exciting brand of Rugby and moving in the right direction.”
Mr O’Neill said the Qantas Wallabies under Deans had produced some breakthrough results in recent seasons, including a win at altitude in South Africa for the first time in 47 years and a record breaking win over France.
“The away record has certainly improved under Robbie and that was emphasised again on the weekend with a wonderful win over the Springboks despite the rigours of travel and a one week turnaround after playing the All Blacks in Auckland,” Mr O’Neill said.
“We are still working towards where we want to be in terms of overall winning percentages and the collection of major silverware.
“However, the win on the weekend keeps us in the hunt at this stage for the Tri Nations title this season and the game’s ultimate prize will be decided in New Zealand over September-October.
“There is no doubt 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 of the national team.
“I look forward to him making an even more lasting impression on Australian Rugby over the next two seasons.”
Deans said he was looking forward to continuing with the Qantas Wallabies beyond 2011 but was currently focussed on the immediate and exciting challenges ahead of the national team.
“I’m pleased to have gained the backing of the Board,” he said. “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 Castrol Edge Tri Nations Series Test against the All Blacks in Brisbane, and then for the Rugby World Cup that follows in New Zealand.”