New Wallabies deal for Deans
Australia coach Robbie Deans has signed a new two-year contract and will remain in charge of the Wallabies until the end of the 2013 international season.
There has been speculation for a number of months that Deans, who is in the final year of a four-year deal, would be offered fresh terms after the Australian Rugby Union board instructed chief executive John O'Neill to open negotiations with the former Crusaders boss. The deal has now been finalised, ensuring Deans will have no distractions heading into the World Cup.
"A large number of players have re-committed to Australian Rugby this year, I'm pleased to be joining them," Deans said. "My priority remains, as it has always been, the preparations both for the final Tri-Nations Series Test against the All Blacks in Brisbane, and then for the Rugby World Cup that follows in New Zealand."
The announcement ends any hope the All Blacks had of poaching the New Zealander back across the Tasman Sea following the World Cup, which gets under way next month.
Deans was overlooked for the New Zealand job before moving to Australia and it was understood the New Zealand Rugby Union were keen to bring him back home if the All Blacks were to fail again at the tournament, but O'Neill was never going to let that happen.
"There is no doubt Robbie has earmarked and brought through a new generation of Wallabies stars and we have certainly not stood still over the three and a half years he has been in charge of the national team," O'Neill said.
"I look forward to him making an even more lasting impression on Australian rugby over the next two seasons.
"The away record has certainly improved under Robbie and that was emphasised again on the weekend with a wonderful win over the Springboks despite the rigours of travel and a one-week turnaround after playing the All Blacks in Auckland.
"We are still working towards where we want to be in terms of overall winning percentages and the collection of major silverware."
Deans will name his final 30-man squad for the World Cup on Thursday.