No worries for Robbie Deans
Robbie Deans has dealt a dump-tackle to the idea his Wallabies side will struggle this summer because of Australia’s misfiring Super 15 sides.
The resurgent Brumbies are the only Aussie outfit currently in the all-important top six and with nine rounds already gone it makes for depressing reading for the national coach.
The Waratahs lie in seventh, but with a clash against the mighty Crusaders coming up this weekend it’s more likely than not they will fall back to join the Reds (10th), Western Force (12th) and Melbourne Rebels (13th).
Many would point to the faulty form of the Reds as reason why Aussies may well be worried. The Queensland outfit romped home to the title last year playing a brand of attacking rugby the Wallabies, with Reds half-backs Will Genia and Quade Cooper in at No.9 and 10, tried to copy. However, this time round the Brisbane-based side have struggled with Cooper out injured, and for some that doesn’t bode well for the national team.
With summer Tests against Scotland and Wales and the inaugural Rugby Championship (the expanded Tri Nations with Argentina) facing the Wallabies, you’d think Deans would be a worried man.
The Australia coach couldn’t care less about the sides’ Super 15 fortunes, though, and insists his team will be ready for the tough tests ahead.
“You learn something every week, and that’s what we’re there to do,” Deans said.
“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,” he added. “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 summer, with battles against Scotland and Wales in the space of five days.
In addition to that Deans has to grapple with the fact the Waratahs, Rebels and Brumbies all have Super Rugby fixtures to play on the weekend before the Scotland clash on June 5, meaning the Wallabies must rely predominantly on Reds and Force players to be fit to face Andy Robinson’s side.