New Zealander Robbie Deans appointed as Wallabies coach
By ADAM HICKS
ROBBIE DEANS earned the right to coach the All Blacks and his reign with the Wallabies could be another painful period for Kiwi rugby fans, according to Deans' countryman and Far North Coast Zone coach, Karl Lupton.
"Deans should have been the All Blacks coach," Lupton said.
"New Zealand (Rugby Union) didn't give him an option, really.
"They basically forced his hand and the public aren't all that happy about it.
"He was very well liked."
Deans was yesterday snapped up by the Wallabies after the NZRU snubbed the four-time Super 12-winning coach and reappointed Graham Henry at the All Blacks' helm.
"It's a slap in the face for Australian coaches," Lupton said.
"But I suppose if they want to trust the national team with a Kiwi, he's as good as anyone.
"He's a pretty smart operator.
"I think he's a bit annoyed with New Zealand rugby at the moment and there is every chance that this will come back to bite them."
But should the Wallabies win back the Bledisloe or triumph in the Tri-Nations, Lupton said Deans would not be held accountable from the New Zealand public.
"From chatting to pepole back home, they're more frustrated with (the) New Zeland Rugby (Union) for letting him get away," he said.
Either way, after 20 years in Australia, Lupton is not about to turn into a Wallabies supporter.
"I suppose it will give me someone to support in the Wallabies," he said.
"He had the best credentials. I just think it is a shame for Australian rugby that they couldn't find one of their own coaches that they could trust with the job."
"Most people will welcome him especially if they start playing better. A coach is only as good as his players but if the players are winning he'll get a lot of the credit for it.
"Australian rugby is a bit basic at the top level. The just don't look to create enough. That's what Deans will change.
"The Crusaders (under Deans) have always been good, running footballers and he might help bring that to the Wallabies."
Even if Deans is successful, Lupton doubted that it could work in reverse with an Aussie in charge of the All Blacks.
"There would be an uproar over there if that ever happened," he said.
"I couldn't see them doing it, to be honest.
"But we haven't won a World Cup for 20 years so it might be time to try something different."