Deans in line for Super 14 ban

The New Zealand Rugby Union is said to be threatening to blackban Robbie Deans from Super 14 if he “defects” to the Australia – citing protection of the All Blacks’ “intellectual property”.

Deans was expected in Sydney on Thursday but that appears to have been moved forward to Tuesday to be interviewed for the vacant Wallabies job.

The Daily Telegraph says that the NZRU board will meet on Wednesday to discuss his future and that of fellow candidate David Nucifora who coaches the Blues should either get the Australian job.

The NZRU will however not reveal its decision until after the ARU board meets on Thursday to finalise the Wallabies’ new coach.

The situation will leave some doubt in the mind of All Blacks reject Deans, who is keen to see out the 2008 season with Canterbury and Deans has pleaded with the NZRU not to be “vindictive”.

NZRU boss Steve Tew told the Daily Telegraph: “We’d never be vindictive. We have enormous respect for Robbie. It is just an unusual set of circumstances concerning a fierce rival and the board will consider all things in coming to a decision.”

The reason for all of this is that New Zealand officials are worried about the high level of interaction between their Super 14 coaches and the All Blacks camp.


Tactics are shared and players are often moved into different positions at the request of the All Blacks.

If either of the Super 14 coaches (Deans & Nucifora) become Wallabies coach they would then have inside knowledge of what the All Blacks plans are for the TriNations by the end of the Super 14.

“Our general approach to managing players, preparing for games, video analysis, tactical areas. There is some intellectual property that would need to be considered,” Tew said.

Deans told NZ radio: “I would hope they wouldn’t be vindictive. The work I will be doing with Crusaders will be finished before I start anywhere else anyway. It would continue to be of benefit to New Zealand.”


A resolution would be that Deans or Nucifora leave their post immediately after they have been appointed as Wallaby coach.


“There are termination clauses in his contract,” Tew says on Rugbyheaven.


“We would be hoping we can manage the process without going to that extreme. But there is the potential for it to become a little bit more formal.”

Tew said in most businesses, if an employee joined the opposition they would be asked to leave their post immediately.

“I would imagine that anyone from this office [the NZRU], including myself, who went to the Australian union would be asked to do that,” Tew said.

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