NZRU congratulates Robbie Deans on appointment
The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) today congratulated Crusaders coach Robbie Deans on his appointment to the position of Wallabies coach and confirmed that he will remain as coach of the Crusaders for the 2008 Rebel Sport Super 14.
NZRU CEO Chris Moller said while it was disappointing to lose a coach of Robbie’s calibre to another country, the NZRU Board and Management understood his desire to coach at the international level.
“In an ideal world, we would be able to retain all of our top coaches in this country but we have seen over a number of years that the depth and talent of coaching in this country means we can’t keep all of them coaching in New Zealand and still meet their aspirations for higher coaching opportunities,” he said.
“Robbie has made a substantial contribution to New Zealand, Crusaders and Canterbury rugby as a player, manager and coach over a long period of time. We believe it is only fair that he be given this opportunity, despite the obvious concern about losing one of our best coaches to another country’s national side.”
The Board of the NZRU, at its meeting on Wednesday, decided that in the event he was successful in his application to the Australian Rugby Union, Robbie Deans would be allowed to remain as coach of the Crusaders in 2008, subject to a number of protocols being agreed and the resolution of contractual terms.
“We will work through a process with the Crusaders and with Robbie and his management to ensure those protocols, which are intended to protect the interests of New Zealand rugby, are understood and agreed,” said Mr Moller.
Crusaders Chairman Murray Ellis said the Crusaders were pleased with the outcome, which is the result of a lot of hard work from all parties to reach an understanding that works for everyone.
Crusaders CEO Hamish Riach said the Crusaders were saddened to be losing Robbie Deans from their environment given all of his years of service and the incredible list of achievements he has helped deliver to the Crusaders.
“There’s no doubt we would want Robbie to continue coaching here with the Crusaders beyond 2008. But we appreciate that he wants to grow and develop as a coach, particularly at the international level. We wish him and his family the very best in Australia.”
Robbie & Richie, May 2006.
Mark Hammett (& Tony Marsh, November 2003.) : favorite to be Robbie's substitute.