Lions defeat leaves Deans facing the sack

Australia coach unlikely to be retained following 2-1 series loss to British and Irish Lions

Robbie Deans, coach of the Wallabies and captain James Horwill speak to the media in Sydney. Photograph:  Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Robbie Deans, coach of the Wallabies and captain James Horwill speak to the media in Sydney. Photograph: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Sun, Jul 7, 2013, 13:41

Australia coach Robbie Deans has refused to speculate on his future following the Wallabies’ 2-1 series defeat to the British and Irish Lions.

Reports have surfaced that Deans would be fired regardless of the outcome of yesterday’s decider at ANZ Stadium, which was lost 41-16, and it remains to be see whether he will be in place when the Rugby Championship begins next month.

Any race to succeed Deans is between Ewan McKenzie and Jake White, but the Kiwi himself has adopted a stoical silence on his position.

“Those decisions will be made by others. You don’t presume anything in this industry, who knows what will happen,” he said.

Australia captain James Horwill, who was gracious in defeat following yesterday’s unexpected mauling by the Lions, insists the players are behind their coach.

“Yes we still stand by Robbie. He’s contracted as the coach and he’s a great coach. Now’s not the time to talk about it,” he said.

Australia open their Rugby Championship campaign against New Zealand in Sydney on August 17th and whoever is at the helm must rebuild the team’s confidence.

Having pegged back a 19-3 deficit, they rallied to 19-16 only to fold in the face of the Lions’ onslaught.

“I’ve got no doubt the boys will regroup. The Rugby Championship is a different competition with different opponents and a different method,” Deans said.

“The Lions play a game we’re very familiar with and we’re very conscious that we had to take them out of their comfort zone but weren’t able to do that.

“I’ve no doubt these guys will respond in the Rugby Championship, they’re too good not to.

“They’re a better side than what we saw in that final Test and that’s the disappointing thing. We came up well short.”

While distraught by the outcome to the series, Horwill has enjoyed his Lions experience and hailed the benefit of the tour to Australian rugby.

“This is what rugby tours are about. This is what rugby’s about, midweek tours, touring as a touring party. Personally I’d like to see more of it, not just from the Lions,” he said.

“The whole experience for Australian rugby has been massive. You can feel the excitement this tour has generated — front page and back page of every paper in the country.

“In a market containing five very, very competitive sports, this has been huge for rugby in Australia.

“It’s just disappointing we didn’t capitalise on it. We’d love to have won but didn’t and now we’ll gave to wait another 12 years.

“We’re devastated. Maybe one two guys in the dressing room will get another crack at the Lions — maybe. It’s a tough pill to swallow because we didn’t put our best foot forward.”

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email to verify your account.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.