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Deans officially gone as Wallabies coach
July 8, 2013

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has confirmed Robbie Deans has been dumped as Wallabies coach, with Queensland mentor Ewen McKenzie set to named as his successor later on Tuesday.

Deans coached the national team in a record 74 Test matches since being appointed in 2008, but the ARU finally lost patience with the New Zealander after Saturday night's 41-16 series-deciding loss to the British and Irish Lions.

The former All Blacks player and most successful Super Rugby coach in history broke new ground when he became the first non-Australian to land the country's most coveted coaching position.

Deans advised ARU chief executive Bill Pulver late on Monday of his decision to stand down.

"I wish to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in Australian rugby for their support through the duration of my tenure," he said. "It has been a rewarding five years and I am proud of all that we have achieved. Most especially I would like to thank the players for their efforts and wish them all the best going forward."

The team's thrashing by the Lions in what was deemed their most important match since the 2003 IRB World Cup final means he leaves without a defining moment in charge.

His high point remains the 2011 Tri-Nations triumph in the weeks before the World Cup in New Zealand. But he is better remembered for overseeing shattering defeats to Scotland (twice), Samoa at home, a 53-8 rout by South Africa in Johannesburg and an ill-fated World Cup campaign in New Zealand two years ago, when the Wallabies never recovered from a 15-6 mugging by Ireland in the group stage.

Australian Rugby Union chief Bill Pulver said Deans advised him of his decision late Monday, although it has been reported that he was given an ultimatum to quit or be sacked as the team seek to rebuild ahead of the Rugby Championship in August. Pulver said Deans made a significant contribution to Australian rugby over a long period of time.

"Robbie came into the job in 2008, improved our away record almost immediately, delivered a Tri-Nations title in 2011 and has been a significant part of a Lions tour that overshadows any other rugby event in Australia since the 2003 Rugby World Cup," he said. "We wish him all the best in his future endeavours and to build further on what is one of world rugby's most impressive coaching resumes.

"As a consequence of a coaching review process that has been ongoing through 2013, we are also in a position to make a further announcement on the coaching position - and name Robbie's replacement - later today."

Queensland Reds coaching director Ewen McKenzie is set to be named as Deans' successor at a media conference in Brisbane on Tuesday afternoon (2pm AEST).

© AAP
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