Australia confirm Robbie Deans' resignation as head coach following defeat to the British and Irish Lions

Ewen McKenzie becomes the new head coach of the Wallabies

Ewen McKenzie has been confirmed as Australia's new head coach following Robbie Deans' resignation.

Deans stood down following the Wallabies' 2-1 series defeat against the British and Irish Lions and the Australian Rugby Union has now confirmed former Test prop McKenzie as his successor.

ARU chief executive Bill Pulver said: "Having established the necessary criteria, and spoken to the relevant people, we were convinced that Ewen was now the man to take the Qantas Wallabies forward."

Deans' resignation came after the Wallabies' 41-16 defeat in Saturday's third Test against the British and Irish Lions in Sydney, which saw the tourists complete a 2-1 series win.

An ARU statement read: "Qantas Wallabies head coach Robbie Deans has announced this morning he is stepping down from the role effective immediately."

The governing body had already been reviewing Deans' performance as he approached the end of his contract, which was due to expire at the end of the year.

"We have been conducting that due diligence over the last few months, taking into account broad criteria for coach selection," Pulver said.

"Consideration was given to leadership skills, discipline, coaching capability, coaching records, and important factors such as character, values and style of play.

"Therefore, we were well prepared depending on how the year unfolded.

"Robbie resigning in the wake of the Lions Tour did not catch us unprepared to move forward with a replacement.

"(McKenzie's) opportunity comes quickly, with the Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship and the opening match of that competition - the Bledisloe Cup showdown with the All Blacks on August 17."

McKenzie represented Australia in 51 Tests and was part of the World Cup-winning squad of 1991.

He served as their assistant coach for three years under Rod McQueen and then Eddie Jones in the early 2000s and subsequently coached the Australia A team.

At club level he has led the the Waratahs and Stade Francais before his most recent assignment at Queensland Reds, with whom he won the Super Rugby title in 2011 and topped the Australian conference again the following year.

He said at a press conference today: "I'm really pleased to be able to accept the job of Wallaby coach.

"I'm pretty proud right now, pretty privileged to be able to get that opportunity.

"Right here and now I've been asked to do a very specific job, that job starts in five weeks' time. There's no better coaching assignment than to pit yourself against the All Blacks.

"I've played and coached in a bunch of Bledisloe Cup games and to get another crack at the All Blacks is terrific. I'm really looking forward to the challenge of taking them on and from that, good things can flow.

"It's a really important time in Australian rugby. On the field, people will worry about where the Wallabies are at. I'm looking forward to the challenge of making a difference in that and in the game as a whole."

 



Deans, who led the Wallabies in 74 Tests having been appointed following the 2007 World Cup, took his leave following the 41-16 defeat to the Lions in Sydney that sealed a 2-1 series win for the tourists.

He said: "I wish to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in Australian rugby for their support through the duration of my tenure. It has been a rewarding five years and I am proud of all that we have achieved.

"Most especially I would like to thank the players for their efforts and wish them all the best going forward."

Pulver added: "Robbie came into the job in 2008, improved our away record almost immediately, delivered a Tri Nations title in 2011 and has been a significant part of a Lions Tour that overshadows any other rugby event in Australia since the 2003 Rugby World Cup.

"We wish him all the best in his future endeavours and to build further on what is one of world rugby's most impressive coaching resumes."

New Zealand-born Deans led the Wallabies to third place in the 2011 World Cup and to the Tri Nations title the same year but never delivered the Bledisloe Cup - the trophy presented for series between Australia and the All Blacks.

PA

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine