Deans dismisses Super Rugby form
Australia coach Robbie Deans has dismissed the modest form of the country's five Super Rugby franchises as irrelevant, insisting the Wallabies will still be a force in the upcoming Test season.
The resurgent Brumbies are the only Australian side in the top six through nine rounds, with the Waratahs (seventh), Reds (10th), Western Force (12th) and Melbourne Rebels (13th) all battling to make the play-offs.
Asked if he had any concerns over the sluggish start to the tournament, Deans replied: "No, never. You learn something every week, and that's what we're there to do."
He added: "It's a great competition, there's nothing between teams and the reality is somebody has to be last and somebody has to be first, that's the nature of a points table.
"There's no doubt the Reds' performance last year was good but we don't have that sort of momentum right now, and whether we get it or not probably isn't that relevant to us. We'll gather a group, it's a distinct group, we'll determine how we want to play and the most important thing is how we come together."
The Wallabies face a tricky start to their Test season, with clashes against Scotland and Wales in the space of five days.
To further complicate matters, the Waratahs, Rebels and Brumbies all have Super Rugby fixtures to play on the weekend prior to the Scotland clash on Tuesday, June 5.
That means the Wallabies must rely predominantly on Reds and Force players to face Andy Robinson's side.
"You look at that unique match in the first week and it's not something that daunts us," Deans said. "Obviously it's fantastic for the playing group, how to deal with that circumstance of playing Super Rugby on the weekend, a Test match Tuesday and another Test match Saturday.
"Scotland and Wales are just going to be lying in wait, they've got an uninterrupted prep, they'll be jumping out of their skin and they'll see a great opportunity in Newcastle."