Former Wallabies coach Robbie Deans will become the head coach of Japan’s Top League and national champions Panasonic Wild Knights on May 1, the club said on Tuesday. Deans, who has also managed the Christchurch-based Crusaders and served as an All Blacks assistant coach, will take over from Norifumi Nakajima, who is transferring to another part of the giant electronics firm. Nakajima spent three seasons in charge at Panasonic, leading the club to the double honour in his final season. The 54-year-old New Zealander parted company with the Australian Rugby Union after the Wallabies lost the British and Irish Lions test series 2-1 last June. I am looking forward to making the [Wild Knights] better still in a fine environment this season Robbie Deans He has maintained a good relationship with Panasonic as an adviser for nearly 10 years, since he began coaching the Crusaders, said the club’s spokesman Seigo Ikeda. “He has given us advice every year.” The terms of his contract with the Top League side were not made known. “I am very glad that I can continue the relationship this way,” Deans said. “I have enjoyed building a strong team with Panasonic players, staff and officials and I enjoyed watching Panasonic play,” he said. “I am looking forward to making the team better still in this fine environment this season,” Deans said. “We want to move further ahead.” Deans coached the Wallabies for six years from 2008, winning 43 times, losing 29 and drawing twice. Australia finished third in the 2011 rugby World Cup. As a player he represented Canterbury and played 19 matches for the All Blacks including five tests. Eddie Jones, Japan’s national team coach since 2012, welcomed Panasonic’s signing of Deans as “fantastic” for Japanese rugby. “Having a multi-winning Super Rugby coach come to Japan and coach the leading team here can only be good for Japanese rugby as the players there get some really good coaching,” Australian Jones, who guided the Wallabies to the 2003 World Cup final which they lost to England, told Kyodo.