posted at 18:00
Author Name:
Deans backs Cheika to fill Wallabies hot seat
New Zealander Deans, the first foreigner to coach the Wallabies, said Australia remained an accomplished side despite the turmoil surrounding Ewen McKenzie's surprise departure and could win next year's showcase tournament in England. "They've got the talent, they've got more depth than they've had for a while and they've showed they're capable of winning the World Cup next year for sure," he told Radio Sport in a round of New Zealand media interviews to promote a new biography. "He's very passionate, he might have to adapt some of his off-field habits being in the international spotlight," said Deans, who is currently coaching Japan's Panasonic Wild Knights. "They will respond to him without a doubt. That approach suits World Cup rugby, it's very much a short-term outlook." Deans, who was in charge of Australia for almost six years before quitting in 2013 after a 2-1 series loss to the British and Irish Lions, said there was a question mark over Australian Rugby Union chief Bill Pulver's future in the wake of the McKenzie furore. Deans said Australian rugby was also struggling financially in a fiercely competitive sporting market, increasing pressure on officials to find the right replacement for McKenzie. Despite rating the Wallabies a World Cup chance, Deans nominated South Africa as the main threat to New Zealand defending the trophy. "They've got the grunt that suits World Cup rugby... and they're starting to get some 10s that are adding to their game. In 2007, they won without playing pass-the-ball, now they can do both."

Posts Archive