Rugby: Robbie Deans laughs off All Black jibes
Australia coach Robbie Deans refused to take the bait after being accused of lacking confidence in his World Cup side for today’s opening clash of the inaugural Rugby Championship in Sydney (11.05amBST).
The Wallabies scored a rare win over the world champions in Brisbane last year, but the All Blacks are touted to dominate the newly-expanded southern hemisphere competition with South Africa and debutants Argentina, who face each other in Cape Town later today (4pmBST).
New Zealand coach Steve Hansen’s jibe that picking only six starters from their 20-6 semi-final defeat by New Zealand at last year’s World Cup was like an admission from Deans that he had got his selections wrong.
Either that or he wanted to change his style of game and did not trust those players to get the job done, Hansen said. “Steve is a very good fisherman – he loves fishing,” said Deans, adding that the Wallabies were fired up to upset New Zealand and clinch the Bledisloe Cup – the annual trophy contested between the antipodean neighbours – for the first time since 2002.
“Obviously we’d love to and I’m part of that,” he said. “Clearly it’s time. It’s pretty straightforward really. It’s far too long.”
All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw brushed off the hype. “Teams change,” he shrugged. “One week can be a long time in sport. You look at the personnel they have got there, they are all quality individuals and we’re in for a big challenge.”
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