Deans gets public backing

Wallaby head coach Robbie Deans is being backed by players and coaches alike after facing a barrage of criticism last weekend. [more]

Deans gets public backing

Wallaby head coach Robbie Deans is being backed by players and coaches alike after facing a barrage of criticism last weekend.

The New Zealander has come under increasing pressure following another disappointing Tri Nations campaign.

Australia’s 44-31 defeat to South Africa in Pretoria on Saturday leaves them heavy favourites to finish bottom of the pile for the second season running.

The Wallabies have now won just twice in nine Tri Nations games since finishing second to the All Blacks in Deans’ first season in charge.

And with respected Australian figures such as former Wallaby coach Bob Dwyer roundly criticising Deans’ tactics, methods and record, Deans now needs all the support he can get as he continues the build up to next year’s World Cup.

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"There is a good belief amongst the squad because we know we're heading in the right direction," said Wallaby centre Adam Ashley-Cooper.

"We feel that we are improving in areas each game.

"We played the two best teams in the world over the last couple of weeks and obviously have come up just that part short, but it's not like we're losing to poor opposition.

"These guys are the best in the world and we're competing with these guys and just falling short so there's certainly a lot to take out of it and a lot to look forward to."

And while Dwyer went as far as to accuse Deans of ‘pig-headedness’, another successful coach has given his support to the former Crusaders boss.

Current Sharks supremo and former Swansea coach John Plumtree insists that Deans remains the best man for the job despite his side’s recent failings.

"I guess if you'd say Robbie was struggling, imagine if a mere mortal was there – he wouldn't have won one game," said Plumtree.

"He sees everything as a challenge and I guess going from a winning culture to what he's had to endure now has been, even for him, a big eye-opener.

"Obviously the job's huge and Australia doesn't have the player base like we've got in New Zealand or South Africa so the depth is not there.

"He'll be doing the best he can, that's for sure, knowing the bloke."

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