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Under-fire Deans wants to plot course to 2015 World Cup with Wallabies

Date

Georgina Robinson

Intense scrutiny .. Wallabies coach Robbie Deans.

Intense scrutiny .. Wallabies coach Robbie Deans. Photo: AP

LONDON: Robbie Deans says he wants to continue as Australian coach beyond the end of next year and believes the Wallabies are ''just getting started'' as a group.

Deans also said he remained ''a believer'' in Quade Cooper's talents and the Wallabies had supported the playmaker during his struggles at the last World Cup.

The ARU signed a two-year extension deal with the former Crusaders coach in the lead-up to the 2011 Rugby World Cup, which would mean Deans will continue as head coach until the end of next season.

Since then the Wallabies have lost to New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final, lost to Scotland in Newcastle, made a clean sweep of Wales in the June internationals but endured a difficult Rugby Championship campaign, failing once more to win back the Bledisloe Cup, and losing to France on their spring tour to Europe, before beating England, Italy and Wales.

Against a backdrop of unprecedented injuries, the Wallabies finished the season third behind New Zealand and South Africa on the international rankings, after two seasons at No.2.

Deans endured particularly intense scrutiny this year but appears to have achieved enough on tour, finishing the year with nine wins, five losses and one draw, to subdue critics who wanted him replaced before the British and Irish Lions tour in June.

Deans said he ''absolutely'' wanted to coach the Wallabies through the Lions tour and beyond.

''[I will] be continuing, hopefully,'' Deans said at the announcement of the 2015 Rugby World Cup draw at the Tate Modern gallery in London on Monday. ''This group is just getting started. The exposure of a few extra players this year has made a big difference to our group … You'll see it first in Super Rugby [then] they'll all want to be involved in the Lions and there's a lot of great rugby coming and we've got a group who are becoming experienced and starting now to work their way through some of those moments of adversity, so they're starting to show some really good traits. And most importantly those traits are about 'team' and those ingredients are good. It's competition, the resilience they're starting to show and the commitment to each other they're exhibiting. It doesn't happen overnight.''

Deans also weighed in for the first time on the Cooper controversy, saying he hoped the Reds No.10 would return to the Wallabies, that he would be welcome there, but the decision came down to Cooper.

''It's about what he wants to do, he's shown previously he's perfectly capable of playing at that level,'' he said. ''As a coach you don't allow [Cooper's criticisms] to come into it, you can't.''

Deans defended the Wallabies' treatment of Cooper at the Rugby World Cup last year. Cooper, then the first-choice five-eighth, was booed continuously on the field in New Zealand and his performance appeared to suffer from the attention. In recent speculation about Cooper's future, his experience during that tournament and the team's lack of support was cited as a major reason for the playmaker's unhappiness.

''To be frank I don't want to pore over history, obviously it was a tough time for everybody. We all at the time did everything we could to ensure that it was a good experience. We stood right alongside Quade,'' Deans said in response to claims Cooper was hung out to dry. ''Let's not forget I'm the bloke that picked him first and continued to pick him, continued to back him. I'm a believer.

''The critical thing with Quade is that he's got to decide what he wants to do. Once again it's got nothing to do with me.''

Deans also conceded criticism of his coaching, some of which has bordered on xenophobia, had been tough to bear, particularly for his family.

''You've heard me say before it's not about me, it's about the playing group. Sure I don't live in a bubble, I'm aware of it, and more importantly my family and friends are, it's probably hardest on them because they get no ability to influence what happens,'' he said.

''At least I'm fortunate enough and privileged enough to have the opportunity to work with the group. There's no such thing as an easy moment in the game, but that's why we do it, that's what makes it rewarding.''

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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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