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Deans will take Australia into a new era : Mortlock



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Wallabies captain Stirling Mortlock believes that the appointment of New Zealander Robbie Deans as the national team’s head coach will mark a new era for the Wallabies, but he admits it will be a journey into the unknown.

Deans currently coaches the Crusaders in the Super 14 series and does not officially take over as Australia coach until June the 1st which is just just two weeks before the first Test of the year against Ireland in Melbourne.

In the highly unlikely scenario that the Crusaders do not qualify for the play offs Deans could have as much as a month to familiarise himself with the players and for them to get to know him.

“Initially, it will take us out of our comfort zone,” said Mortlock in The Australian.

“I talked to Robbie before the season. He was totally comfortable with it. It’s not too dissimilar to what we normally do. Everyone is focused on their provinces.

“We have two weeks before our first Test whereas last year we only had one week and it was extremely tight. This will be positive for everyone.”

With Mortlock being out injured he has had more time to watch matches and he has has taken a special interest in the Crusaders, trying to determine aspects of their game which Deans may apply to the Wallabies.

“I’m not sure what direction he will take the Wallabies,” Mortlock said.

“There are certain traits the Crusaders display that I’m sure he will want the Wallabies to display.

“If we do that, it will be a good thing because those traits are the hallmark of a great team. We would be heading on the right track. We (Australians) are different in style and mentality to New Zealanders in general.

“There will be a little bit of tailoring the program to the guys he has at his disposal. It will be a little bit of the unknown.

“But the Crusaders’ performance this year has just reinforced how successful he has been in Super rugby for a long period of time.

“It’s a real positive opportunity for the Wallabies. A new era for Australian rugby. A great opportunity and a very exciting time.

“Everyone was disappointed with the way we performed at the World Cup. There will be a clean slate for guys trying to get in as well.”

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