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Robbie Deans’ failure to lead Australia to a series win over the British and Irish Lions was last night expected to result in the coach’s sacking. Ewen McKenzie was lined up to be named as Deans’ successor.

Rob Howley, backs coach, Graham Rowntree, forwards coach, Andy Farrell, defence coach and head coach Warren Gatland look on during the British and Irish Lions captain's run in Australia (Getty Images)
Sam Warburton is ‘incredibly disappointed’ to be out of the tour

British and Irish Lions Tour 2013: Brian O’Driscoll set to be given captain’s role ... or place on bench

As Brian O’Driscoll talked about the “mourning period” following the Lions’ one-point defeat in the Melbourne Test, it was possible to believe that he had never felt so utterly dejected in all his time as an international rugby player. And this from a man who had seen two series victories snatched from him at the death – Australia in 2001, South Africa in 2009 – and, in between in New Zealand, been the victim of one of the more infamous assaults in recent rugby history.

Sam Warburton was probably the Lions’ best player in Melbourne

Moody Views: Who fills huge gap left by Sam Warburton injury can decide Sydney showdown

With O’Connell out, it leaves O’Driscoll as the obvious candidate

Brian O'Driscoll expresses his disappointment following the 16-15 defeat to Australia

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The talismanic centre cannot hide his disappoinment following 16-15 defeat but recognisies the importance of the next seven days.

Tense: Australia players and fans watch in suspense as Halfpenny holds the destiny of the series in his hands

British and Irish Lions: Leigh Halfpenny misses last-gasp penalty to take Test series to decider

Australia claim narrow 16-15 victory as Adam Ashley-Cooper scores a late try to break Lions' hearts

Rob Howley, the Lions attack coach, celebrating after their victory during the First Test match against the Australian Wallabies
From left to right: Australian radio presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian, and nurse Jacintha Saldanha who put through their prank call

Radio 'top jock' award for nurse death Australian prank DJ is 'disgraceful' says Keith Vaz

Michael Greig says regardless of the tragic events following the hoax, he is 'still at the top of his game'

Quade Cooper produced a mixed display for Queensland Rebels

British and Irish Lions 2013: Injuries hit Australia but Quade Cooper still in the frame

Robbie Deans, the Australia coach, has claimed to be unfazed by a growing injury list and will watch Quade Cooper once more before the squad for the first British and Irish Lions Test is finalised.

Australia captain Michael Clarke (L) and vice-captain Brad Hadden pose in the cockpit of the Qantas A380 that will take them to the UK for the Ashes

The Aussies are coming! Australian cricket team set off for the UK

Australians leave for UK after batsman David Warner is fined for his Twitter outburst

David Warner has apologised for his recent Twitter outburst and fined for his actions

David Warner given maximum fine following Twitter outburst over IPL corruption article

Cricket Australia charge batsman with 'unbecoming behaviour' and fine him A$5,750 ahead of summer Ashes series

Major air and sea search operation under way after couple fall overboard off Australia

Despite couple being missing for more than 24 hours police say there is still hope the couple may be alive

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