Australia captain Stirling Mortlock has no problem playing under Robbie Deans.
Mortlock joined Wallaby teammate, Chris Latham, in voicing his support of Deans (who is the favourite to get the coaching job with Australia), saying the New Zealander’s credentials made him the clear favourite.
“[Deans] has been an integral part of the Crusaders for the last [eight] years and he’s taken them to four titles so that speaks for itself,” Mortlock told AAP. “That’s not just by chance. He’s got amazing credentials and a great win-loss ratio as well.
“If you look at most professional sports it’s all about who’s best for the job and not so much about the nationality.”
Over the weekend Latham came out firmly in Deans’ favour. “Every Wallaby wants the best man for the job and that man is Robbie Deans,” Latham told Sunday News.
“You only have to look at his record and the style of play of the teams that he has coached and is coaching. They play an attractive brand of rugby, an attacking style of rugby, where he used pretty much all 15 players on the field.
“He obviously has a very high emphasis on skill level – that’s evident. I think he would be very suited to getting us to achieve the standards we’ve been striving to achieve.”
Mortlock said he had no problem with the delay in naming the next Wallabies coach, with some Australian commentators suggesting the process had been put on the back-burner specifically to allow Deans a shot once the All Blacks process was complete.
“It’s a very important decision for the future of Australian rugby moving forward and not one that you want to rush and you want to make sure you make the right decision and get the right candidate,” he told AAP.
“I don’t think there is any drama in going a little bit longer than what was initially expected.”