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Deans gets more Wallaby greats talking


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Another former Wallaby has spoken out against the possibility of Crusaders coach Robbie Deans taking over the Australian coaching job from John Connolly after the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

Former Wallaby full-back Greg Martin has also called for a local to be appointed as the next Wallabies head coach, just one day after 1991 World-Cup-winning captain Nick Farr-Jones warned against the idea of appointing a ‘foreigner’.

“I reckon there is something special about being coached by a coach from your country,” the normally outspoken Martin told the Daily Telegraph. “I would hate to think that it was somebody other than an Australian – we don’t need anyone else.”

The possibility of Deans getting Australian rugby’s top job has sparked a wave of reaction from some of Australia’s greatest players, with Farr-Jones having said: “Can you imagine New Zealand appointing an Australian coach; I think there would be uproar in the country.”

Martin, whilst appreciating that rugby is a business, believes there is “something very romantic and right” about having an Australian coach the Wallabies.

“I know the argument is that we export coaches all over the world and that is great,” he added. “[But] I don’t think we should be importing them.”

Martin made mention of Super 14 coaches Ewen McKenzie (Waratahs), Laurie Fisher (Brumbies) and David Nucifora (Blues) as being the leading local contenders for the Wallabies job.

On Monday, Farr-Jones said it would be hard for a Kiwi coach “to rev up a Wallaby side five minutes before a Test match”, but Grand Slam-winning Wallaby skipper Andrew Slack countered his view: “I think with five minutes to go I would be listening to a coach whose opinions and principles and knowledge I respect regardless of the country he comes from rather than listening to an Australian I didn’t respect.”

Slack did, however, added: “I would like to think there would be an Australian who could do the job to be truthful.”

Deans, who has enjoyed plenty of success at the helm of the Crusaders, would become the first foreigner to fill the role of Wallabies coach – and one man who has absolutely no problem with his appointment is former Wallaby back Mark Ella.

“At the moment we need someone who can do the job right and knows about the game,” said Ella to the Daily Telegraph.

“If we had 1,000 candidates who could do the job I would be supporting Nick (Farr-Jones , but at the moment we seem to be a bit thin on the ground.”


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