Deans encourages diversity

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans says he won’t force Australia’s Super 14 franchises to conform to the same style of play.

This came in response to the question of whether it would be beneficial to the national cause for their franchise teams to play in the manner the national team do.

Deans stressed that he would help the teams where needed, but rejected the notion that he would like to see them adopt a uniform style.

“Obviously the [Australian] players will take some ideas back to their provinces. That’s up to them. But there’s no way I’ll be sticking my nose in where it’s not requested. We want the franchises to innovate. We want them to run their own campaigns, and take ownership of their own campaigns.”

Meanwhile, Deans said he will decide on his Wallabies management team for 2009 after Christmas but made it clear that there was still a role for Waratahs-bound forward coach Michael Foley.

“We’ll make those decisions after Christmas,” Deans said. “But Michael is still involved in Australian rugby, and he will be working with a lot of the players. In terms of the immediate management group, we’ll resolve that in time. But even if Michael wasn’t part of that, he will still be involved. We’ll still seek his counsel, and he’ll still get the opportunity to come along. You never discard anyone’s knowledge. No one has all the answers.”

Deans was cool in his assessment of his first season in charge.

“The whole experience has been great. They’ve all chipped in on and off the field, and the dynamic of the group has been good,” he said.

“Obviously against Wales we didn’t finish the Test the way we would like, but the indicators are there … this group will go into the break with a real sense of purpose for next year.”