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Australian Rugby
Deans set to sign new deal
ESPNscrum Staff
July 14, 2011

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is poised to put pen to paper on a new two-year contract.

Australian Rugby Union chief executive John O'Neill has revealed that the Kiwi-born Deans has agreed terms on a fresh deal, with formal confirmation expected within a fortnight. Deans, who succeeded John Connolly in the wake of the 2007 Rugby World Cup, will lead the Wallabies into this year's tournament with his new contract also set to include the British & Irish Lions tour in 2013.

"It's all on track, we haven't got a signed contract yet but we will get these two Test matches (against Samoa and South Africa) out of the way - they're back to back so he's busy and I'm busy," O'Neill said. "There's no insurmountable issues and in a quieter moment we'll formally announce it. "It's been a pretty trouble-free negotiation and it's an extension through to the end of 2013."

While the decision to reappointment Deans before the World Cup will be the subject of much debate, O'Neill is adamant the five-Test All Black is still the best man for the job. "I'm very relaxed about it and very happy to have certainty and I like the idea of no distractions," he said. "It's a bit like saying to the players 'we don't want any distractions', Robbie doesn't want any distractions either. He and I have agreed in principle, the formality now is with the lawyers and he's just getting on with the job."

O'Neill believes Australia are timing their run to perfection just two months out from the code's showpiece event. "I'm very excited, I think we are turning momentum into reality," he said, citing in particular the Reds' Super 15 title success at the weekend. The Super Rugby trophy is a big trophy, we've [Australia] only won it twice before with the Brumbies.

"Once you get the taste of success you want more so I think the Reds victory will add further impetus to that momentum. There's no easy games, I mean Samoa won't be easy and while there's been a lot of publicity about the Springboks, when I read their team on paper it's not shabby - and then we've got the All Blacks home and away. We targeted 2011 to be a turning point for Australian rugby and so far so good."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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