Deans in the dark over future
Australia coach Robbie Deans has admitted he has no idea what his own future holds beyond this season.
Deans is contracted until the end of the Rugby World Cup in October, and while several high-profile players have re-signed with the ARU in recent weeks, the coach refuted growing speculation he is set to re-commit in the coming weeks, insisting he is unlikely to make a call on his future until after the tournament.
"I have some fixed plans and they are to do very well in 2011," Deans said from ARU headquarters on Thursday. "I'm just not thinking about that stuff. It's great to see the start of Super Rugby and my whole priority is this year. I haven't thought about anything else."
He added: "I'm very excited about where we're at to be honest. Obviously you always want more in terms of outcomes and in an ironic way I believe some of the challenges that we've faced - some of the lack of continuity for example around injuries and so forth - we'll be able to turn to our benefit.
"We've exposed a broader group as a result and I think that'll be evident through the performances of the Super Rugby sides, and we'll run off that."
But while he is pleased with the Wallabies' progression over the past three seasons, Deans admits New Zealand remain clear favourites to end their World Cup drought on home soil.
"Well you have to consider New Zealand favourites," Deans said. "It's no coincidence that the only World Cup New Zealand has won was in New Zealand (in 1987).
"They'll have the expectation of the nation but also the support of the nation. Right from the outset they talked about a stadium of four-and-a-half million, and that'll be the reality.
"They'll play out of their skins and they're already a well-performed team, so off the back of that they're clearly going to be one of the major obstacles to any side that aspires to lift the World Cup.
"It's obviously going to be a great tournament...personally I think this World Cup will be the best yet."