Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has four tests to save his job, says media

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 August, 2012, 3:02am

The clock is ticking for Wallabies coach Robbie Deans, who has four tests to turn around their fortunes or face the sack, Australian media said yesterday.

Deans is under increasing pressure after Australia's 22-0 hammering by the All Blacks in Auckland on Saturday, extending their miserable record against New Zealand to 14 defeats in 17 starts.

It was the first time in 50 years the Wallabies have not scored a point against their trans-Tasman rivals dating back to a 3-0 defeat in Dunedin in 1962, and followed their 27-19 loss in Sydney the previous weekend.

"Deans rapidly running out of time after latest Kiwi debacle," wrote The Sydney Morning Herald. "The Australian Rugby Union will continue backing Deans, but patience is wearing thin. Don't start thinking the ARU will dump Deans this week, or even next, despite his atrocious record against the All Blacks. But if the rot continues in the final four matches of the Rugby Championship against South Africa and Argentina, Deans' five-year reign in charge of the Wallabies will end."

The Australian newspaper took a similar line saying: "D-day for Deans edging closer … [he] has four tests to save his job," it said.

Former Wallabies coach Alan Jones said last week that Deans was "not up to it" as an international coach.

Australian Rugby Union chief John O'Neill, who has been one of Deans' staunchest supporters and was instrumental in appointing him, said it was too early to talk about firing him.

"We're profoundly disappointed to have lost the Bledisloe Cup, but the reality is we are just two games into the Rugby Championship," he said. "It was our stated ambition to win the Bledisloe Cup after 10 years. We didn't achieve that, and the aim is now to win the next four games.

"So speculating on the coaching position is not appropriate."

Australia face South Africa in Perth on September 8, before hosting Argentina.