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ARU gives Deans a big tick and backs him as Lions tamer

Date

Michael Chammas

Coached a Wallabies side in 2012 that was hamstrung by injuries … Robbie Deans.

Coached a Wallabies side in 2012 that was hamstrung by injuries … Robbie Deans. Photo: Simon Alekna

AUSTRALIAN RUGBY UNION chairman Michael Hawker insists there is no added pressure on Wallabies coach Robbie Deans heading into the final year of his contract, admitting the ARU was ''happy'' with how his side was travelling.

The ARU also announced a constitutional change after eight months of preparation, adopting an independent governance style structure.

While the ARU's results off the field have been satisfactory, on-field efforts are still a source of unease.

The Wallabies have dropped to No.3 in the world and have had a lacklustre 12 months but Hawker believes recent results aren't a fair indication of the position Australian rugby finds itself in.

''You've got to put the Wallabies' performance in context with how many injuries we've had,'' Hawker said. ''We've had 55 people play for the Wallabies this year which is a pretty poor number of players, so we've had an unusual level of injury rate.

''That's something we're looking at as to why that occurred and how we might be able to do about that. We can actually improve the better player management process between the ARU and the Super Rugby franchises to make sure the player welfare is managed right collectively across those two levels of the game.

''When you've got a team that has playmakers such as [Will] Genia, [James] O'Connor, [Quade] Cooper, [David] Pocock and [Kurtley] Beale, who didn't play the whole year … If you took [Dan] Carter and Richie McCaw out of the New Zealand team, you'd have a different proposition. We had five major playmakers out of our game and we had a pretty good record.''

Next year is important for the Wallabies, who will go head-to-head with the British and Irish Lions in Australia for the first time in 12 years.

While Deans is no certainty to remain at the helm beyond 2013, Hawker conceded the ARU was comfortable with him in charge.

''From the Australian Rugby Union, we're happy with where the Australian team is, Hawker said.

''We'd like to have less injuries and I think if we didn't have as many injuries, we would've been right at the top. Next year is a huge year with the Lions making a once-in-12-year journey down here. Having just come from the northern hemisphere, people are hugely excited over there to be here. It always creates a huge wave of anticipation seeing the best of the northern hemisphere come here. We're pretty keen to try and thump them. They're going to be a very competitive side and we're going to be a very competitive side and I think it's going to generate plenty of interest.

''I think the coaches think of every year as make or break … I don't think Robbie takes anything for granted. For us, I think everyone in the Australian public are keen to win all the games and so is Robbie. He'll do all he can. In the board's view, we have every chance in defeating the Lions next year.''

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG vs AUS 01:30Twic
WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
View All Fixtures
 
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