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Wallabies unveil assistant coaches


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Australia rugby’s New Zealand-born head coach Robbie Deans will have help this season from an Ireland-based former test forward for the Wallabies.

The Australian Rugby Union said Monday that former test backrower Jim Williams and current forwards coach Michael Foley will be Deans’ assistants.

Williams, currently an assistant coach at Irish club Munster, was hired to work with the forwards on facets of play including the breakdown and continuity.

Foley, part of John Connolly’s coaching staff at the last World Cup, will continue to look after the forwards’ scrum and lineout set pieces.

The new appointments mean attack coach Scott Johnson and longtime defense coach John Muggleton have not been retained, with Deans to assume direct responsibility for those roles.

The Wallabies’ coaching staff has been reduced from four to three.

“It’s good to get clarity, good for all parties involved in the process,” Deans said in a statement.

“It’s great we’re now in a position to confirm and announce a coaching team that I believe has the capacity to take the national side forward this season.


There has been a lot of conjecture on this issue and there will be some disappointment among those who were on the Wallabies coaching staff last year.” Williams played in Queensland and later with the New South Wales Waratahs and the ACT Brumbies in Super 12 as both a blindside flanker and No. 8.

He played 14 tests for the Wallabies during the 1999 and 2000 seasons, making his debut against Ireland in Sydney, and was a member of the victorious 1999 World Cup squad.

He played for Munster from 2001-05 before moving into an assistant coaching position and his contract with the Irish club expires at the end of the current European season.

“This is an exciting opportunity for me to return to Australia and also to work with one of the best coaches in the world,” Williams said.

“It was a chance too good to miss.” Deans, the first non-Australian head coach of the Wallabies, was appointed in the wake of Australia’s upset World Cup quarterfinal loss to England in France.

He will continue to work with the Canterbury Crusaders in New Zealand until the end of the Super 14 season.

Sapa-AP –

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