Current leader distances himself from the team’s future in post-match press conference
Australia coach Robbie Deans admitted he was unsure about his future in the job Saturday after his team were humbled by the British and Irish Lions in their series decider in Sydney.
Deans, whose tenure is a constant topic of discussion in Australia despite his record 74-Test, five-year stint, indicated the decision was out of hands after the big 41-16 defeat.
Asked about remaining as the Wallabies’ first foreign coach, the New Zealander said: “You don’t presume anything in this industry. Those decisions are made by others.”
What was framed as the Wallabies’ most important match since losing to England in the 2003 World Cup final, at the same stadium, unravelled as the Lions won their first series in 16 years.
Following the four tries to one hammering, Deans is still lacking a defining moment as Wallaby coach, with his high point remaining the 2011 Tri Nations triumph in the weeks before the World Cup in New Zealand.
But Wallabies’ skipper James Horwill gave short shrift to questions about Deans’s future as coach.
“Robbie’s the coach. He’s contracted, he’s the coach. He’s a great coach and now’s not the time to time to talk about it,” Horwill told a post-match press conference.
“We’ll review everything at the end after this. Five minutes after I’ve played a Test match is not the time to talk about coaching positions.”
Horwill added that he was devastated by the manner of the Wallabies’ defeat, in which they conceded the most points of any of their losses to the Lions. The first two Tests which were decided by just two points and one point respectively.
“Devastated. You don’t get another crack for 12 years and there’s maybe one or two guys in that dressing room that will probably get, maybe, if they decide to hang stay around, another crack,” he said.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow because we didn’t put our best out there. No matter what happens when you walk off the field you want to know you’ve given it your all, and tonight we didn’t play as well as we could have and that’s the disappointing part.
“The Lions were very good and they deserved to win tonight, and after two games that were very close it is disappointing we had a final scoreline that looked like it did.”
Horwill had to survive two judicial hearings to play in the decider after he was cited for an alleged stamping, and wept freely after last week’s 16-15 win in Melbourne.
“It’s been a big two weeks. That’s what Lion tours are about. It’s up there with the pinnacle of Test rugby,” he said.
“Ultimately, it’s the team that deals with the peaks and troughs the best that ends up winning and they dealt with tonight better that we did.”