Deans’ job is safe for British and Irish Lions tour

Under Pressure Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is unlikely to be dropped before the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour after Australian Rugby bosses said that there was “very little chance” of change.

Calls for Deans to be sacked have intensified since Australia’s first Test match this season when they lost at home to Scotland following their 2011 Rugby World Cup Semi-final exit eight months earlier.

The call for Deans to be replaced intensified after Australia had a poor Rugby Championship campaign this year but the end of year tour on which they beat England, Italy and Wales have given him breathing space.

While the media have blasted Deans’ tactics, which saw the team end the year averaging just one try per Test, Australian Rugby Union chairman Michael Hawker has defended Deans’s performance.

Hawker admitted he was concerned by the lack of tries “but we have been missing some of our most spectacular running backs”, he told The Australian.

“Having Quade Cooper and Will Genia and James O’Connor, all international-quality players, out of our backline does make a difference, just as New Zealand without Dan Carter and Richie McCaw would lose something.”

Deans, who has been coach since 2008, still has to undergo an end-of-year review by the board, which includes former greats John Eales, George Gregan and Brett Robinson, but Hawker suggested his job was safe.

“There is no view to moving the incumbent on until there is reason to,” Hawker told the newspaper.

“There is very little chance of a change.”

The Wallabies face the Lions in three Tests at home next year, starting in Brisbane on June 22, followed by Melbourne (June 29) and Sydney (July 6).

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