Deans has a one track mind – Crusaders

Newly appointed Wallabies coach Robbie Deans says that he will have no trouble putting the Crusaders ahead of the Wallabies.

Deans is in Australia this weekend to coach the Crusaders in a Super 14 warm up match against the Western Force in Melbourne on Saturday night.

It is widely accepted that Deans will be grilled over Wallaby selections and game plans by the Australian press every time he comes on Australian soil during the Super 14.

“It is very straightforward, I am only wearing one hat. That (Wallabies) campaign is next, and there is nothing I can do with that group until it gathers in June,” Deans told AAP.

“I fulfil my obligations here and then I start there.”

Right now though, Deans says that he is more concerned about the the threat posed by the Force who he says are Super 14 title contenders.

“It is good to be able to get quality opposition, and the Force are that,” Deans said.

“You have only got to look at the playing roster, they have got genuine depth and class.

“They will be frustrated they got close last year and then tapered, so they will be pretty keen to push on and playing us will be the first indicator of that.”

The Force is coached by John Mitchell who was in charge of New Zealand in 2003 and his assistant was Robbie Deans in that year and Mitchell says Deans will have no trouble divorcing the two coaching jobs.

“Knowing him he will discard that and deal with the Wallabies when that situation arrives. He will be clearly focused on the Crusaders group,” Mitchell said.

“It will be an emotional year for him I think, because he has played all his rugby and coached there (in Christchurch) for a long time and brought the team success and brought the community an enormous amount of pleasure.”

There has been talk about Deans returning the favour for Mitchell and appoint him as assistant for the Wallabies but Mitchell diverted talk on that subject.

“I’m helping him as a Super 14 coach, and it is important I look after this role here,” Mitchell said.

“Hopefully through team performance we enhance individuals chance to play international rugby.

“What excites me is that he will select on excellence rather on reputation and the state where you come from, and that excites our player group.”


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