Deans backs Melbourne Super bid
October 23, 2009
Robbie Deans is giving the thumbs up to Melbourne's Super Rugby bid © Getty Images
Robbie Deans is backing Melbourne's bid for the 15th Super Rugby franchise which he believes would only enhance rugby union's reach in Australia.
Melbourne and Port Elizabeth are the final bidders for the coveted place in the southern hemisphere's top club competition and the Wallabies coach is hoping that a new franchise could expand his own options. The decision is set for arbitration after SANZAR failed to reach the required unanimous decision on the location for the new franchise earlier this week.
"I'm very hopeful Melbourne will be successful, it would be great if they were," he said. "Geographically it takes the game across the width and breadth of the country. With Super Rugby being extended, it's going to add to the profile, it's going to give us more top level rugby over a longer period of time for more players.
"When you add the inclusion of Sevens to the Olympics, there are some great opportunities coming for rugby. It can only be good."
Asked what his reaction would be if the franchise went to South Africa, Deans replied: "That would mean status quo here which would be a source of disappointment."
The New Zealander is relishing Australia's upcoming tour which will kick off against New Zealand in Japan on October 31. They will then move to Europe where they face all four home nations and the Cardiff Blues. Deans says the Wallabies are looking to improve on their poor Tri-Nations performance.
Australia won just once in six games and suffered heavy defeats against both of their southern hemisphere rivals. The former Crusaders boss says the players are hurting after a difficult winter.
"That fact they're not happy with where they're at is the most encouraging thing," he said. "They are working hard at getting ahead and that's what we need. I'm really pleased with the way they've taken to their work and the way they've come together.
"They are all chasing Test jumpers and pushing each other along. That's good from a coaching perspective. We've worked hard and now know we've got a great opportunity in front of us."